Cyber Espionage

3202 Words Nov 20th, 2008 13 Pages
ABSTRACT

The aim of this report is to examine the topic of cyber espionage. Incidents and threats of espionage committed using software tools have become frequent headlines in news stories in recent years, thus the existence of cyber espionage is undeniable. This report begins with an introduction of the topic, followed by a literature review. Moving on, two case studies specifically involving the use of Trojans and sniffers to commit espionage will be discussed. The scope of these case studies includes the attack mechanisms used and the countermeasures that could plausibly be adopted, as well as a discussion of each case. 1.0 INTRODUCTION Cyber espionage is the use of software tools to obtain secret or private information
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An attacker can run malicious commands on an infected system to delete important files from the victim system, or format the entire disk. Attackers can also infect systems with a Trojan and use it to attack another pre-defined third party system.

Some Trojans have inbuilt keylogging capabilities to record keystrokes made by the victim on the infected system. These Trojans can be configured to automatically covertly email the log file containing the recorded keystrokes to a pre-defined email address. It is further possible to configure an autodestruct feature in the Trojan, so that it automatically gets destroyed at a pre-specified date, and hence leaves few traces behind.
Such Trojans are capable of:
- Stealing the contents of sensitive emails and documents
- Recording passwords, credit card numbers, account information etc.
- Stealing software programming code

2.3.2 Sniffers
Sniffers are recording softwares that record and store data packets being sent across a network. Typically, sniffers can be used to capture, interpret and store data packets being sent across the network. These captured data packets can be studied and analyzed to understand solve network problems and keep track of network traffic. In espionage, sniffers are used to capture sensitive data being sent across the target network. Common espionage threats associated with sniffers include:
- Passwords, bank account

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