500-word summary on Cyber-attacks and Countermeasures

From: Anthony Cuomo
Date: 10/6/2021
Subject: 500-word summary on Cyber-attacks and Countermeasures. 

Cyber-attacks are becoming more frequent and sophisticated due to human error, which are not being accounted for properly by current cyber security protocols. There are three main types of protection tools that are being used in the fight against cybercrimes such as, blacklisting, heuristics, and a hybrid of the two techniques. Cyber protection tools are not fool proof, and users need to learn how to identify a potential attack and how to identify what measures to take to prevent said attack by learning cyber-attack taxonomy and classifications. [1, p. 37]

The author argues that this article is trying to contribute to the advancement of helping users identify and assess potential cyber security threats online. Cyber-attacks are a type of attack that targets the users’ vulnerabilities, these attacks including phishing, drive-by downloads, and social engineering. There are technical and non-technical tools that are being used to help fight against cybercrimes. One of the non-technical tools being implemented is the legislative tool which passes laws against illegal cyber activities. Another non-technical tool that is being used is training and education tools, one of the tools being used is the Cybersecurity Nexus by ISACA.  

Anti-virus software is the most common approach in dealing with cyber security threats, but as the threats get more sophisticated, it could take upwards of hundreds of days before the software can provide adequate protection from a new attack. According to the author, “It is important to educate users, to improve awareness of threats, risks, and what security warnings are about”. More measures need to be taken to help educate people on potential risks. In the meantime, there are web browser filters that utilize the blacklisting technique which compares the requested web page with a database of currently known fake web pages, but this method comes with a drawback of having to constantly update and maintain an increasingly large amount of fake web pages. Google uses a tool called safe browsing, that has two flaws in which users can potentially be tracked and websites will not get filtered if users do not synchronize their accounts.

Mozilla Thunderbird and Internet Explorer use a protection tool called CANTINA which uses the heuristic technique, the drawback to this is the protection will sometimes block legitimate sites and label them fraudulent. Fuzzy data mining technique is heuristic based and tries to determine the legitimacy of websites through associating the pages URL and domain identity. The Neuro-Fuzzy model attempts to decide a webpage legitimacy by going through a list of five inputs that would make it possible to determine the legitimacy in real time. There are three protections tools called Anti-phishing Phil, CyberCIEGE and BigAmbition, which the goal is to help educate users and increase awareness in potential cyber security risks. Smart Protection Tools would include artificial intelligence and machine-learning to be able to filter out illegitimate websites with much better accuracy. 


[1] A. M. Shabut, K. T. Lwin and M. A. Hossain, “Cyber attacks, countermeasures, and protection schemes — A state of the art survey,” 2016 10th International Conference on Software, Knowledge, Information Management & Applications (SKIMA), 2016, pp. 37-44, doi: 10.1109/SKIMA.2016.7916194. 

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