What would you do?

1. You are one of the top students in your university’s computer science program of 200 students. You are surprised when you are met after class by two representatives from a federal intelligence agency. Over dinner, they talk to you about the increasing threat of cyberterrorist attacks launched on the United States by foreign countries and the need to counter those attacks. They offer you a position on the agency’s super-secret cyberterrorism unit, at a starting salary 50 percent higher than you know other computer science graduates are being offered. Your role would be to both develop and defend against new zero-day exploits that could be used to plant malware in the software used by the government and military computers. Would such a role be of interest to you? What questions might you ask to determine if you would accept their offer of employment?

My main concern would be if there were a contract or not. Contracts can be a double edged-sword. On one hand, it can offer stability but you may be locked into an arrangement you’re not satisfied with completely. The idea of using my technical background to help support and defend our country is appealing.



2. You are the CFO of a sporting goods manufacturer and distributor. Your firm has annual sales exceeding $500 million, with roughly 25 percent of your sales coming from online purchases. Today, your firm’s Web site was not operational for almost an hour. The IT group informed you that the site was the target of a distributed denial-of-service attack. You are shocked by an anonymous call later in the day in which a man tells you that your site will continue to be attacked unmercifully unless you pay him $250,000 to stop the attacks. What do you say to the blackmailer?

I would play along with the blackmailer during the phone call and agree to any and all demands. After the phone call is concluded and after I have gathered as much information from the caller that I can ascertain, I would notify the authorities of the incident after I have secured the website. I would then implement safeguards to protect against these types of attacks in the future.






2.     Anonymous and Social Hacktivism.

1.      If you had an opportunity to join Anonymous, would you? Why, or why not?

No, they may feel they are some kind of internet robin rood, righting the wrongs of the world, but they’re nothing but e-terrorists. 

2.      Would you say that Anonymous’ actions in support of WikiLeaks were legal? Were these actions ethical? What about their actions to set up satellite transmission stations across Syria?

I don’t feel that their actions were legal. They may have been acting ethically but that does not necessarily make it right or legal.

3.      How serious of a threat does Anonymous pose to organizational and government Web sites?

This is one of the issues I agree with, their actions prevented the government from censoring and silencing their people.



3.    Computer Forensics.

1.      What role did computer forensics play in the high-profile cases of the New York subway bomber and the San Francisco Bay oil spill?

In the case of the subway bomber, computer forensics led investigators to find bomb making instructions and internet searches about acid. In the case of the oil spill, investigators found that the ships navigational record were falsified and passage planning checklists had been created after the crash occurred.

2.      Why might computer forensics be more effective at preventing crimes than other forms of criminal investigation?

In my opinion, when it comes to electronic evidence, you can’t wash away the finger prints. In other forms of evidence, labs test can be contaminated, witnesses can be compromised, but when it comes to computer forensics, the ‘ones’ and ‘zeros’ do not lie.

3.      In addition to computer-related training, what other education and background would be ideal for someone who wants to make a career in computer forensics?

I feel that a strong understanding of criminal justice would be beneficial to anyone who is interested in the field of computer forensics. Criminal justice would augment the technical skill set of a computer forensics investigator.