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The Hacker Hunters, Case Study Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1286

Case Study

Abstract        

The following essay responds to questions on the The Hacker Hunters case study and the UPS Case Study. The Hacker Hunters case reviews a new breed of crime fighter that implements the crime fighting of the 1980’s turning criminals to informants as it applies to the digital era with fighting hackers and cyber crimes. The case reviews topics like Operation Firewall, utilized by the FBI to target groups like the Shadow Crew, a criminal syndicate that peddles illegal goods through the internet. The operation entailed turning one of the high level members of the crew to provide the FBI with intelligence to crack the group.  The second case covers the United Parcel Service (UPS) and their investment in more sustainable technology. As the company has recently invested over $1 billion in improving operational efficiency, the case reviews many of their investments in alternative energy and enhanced management information infrastructure. The questions responses reviews some of the goals and key objectives of these investments and their potential impact of the company’s operations, while question responses for the Hacker Hunters case reviews the ethical implications of Operation Firewall.

What types of technology could big retailers use to prevent identity thieves from purchasing merchandise?

They can use authorization and authentication software like Verisign which  can allow retailers to verify the identity of customers and prevent identity theft. This prevents people from having their log ins or passwords stolen. They also need to utilize ip address tracking tools for their online stores, specifically in regards to consumers who purchase products online using credit cards based in one region of the world but visit the site from an entirely different location. This is most commonly a fraudulent purchase.

What can organizations do to protect themselves from hackers looking to steal account data?

The first thing organizations can do to prevent identity theft is to inform their customers about the threat, and the difficulties involved in trying to prove one’s identity has actually been corrupted. The second step is for organizations to implement security tools that handle authentication of privacy as well as managing accessibility to the network.

Authorities frequently tap online service providers to track down hackers. Do you think it is ethical for authorities to tap an online service provider and read people’s email? Why or why not?

I don’t think this is an ethical practice, but there are certain circumstances where an individuals activity online might trigger some flags and raise attention. There are also algorithms and statistics that reveal certain activity almost always is a sign of  hackers or privacy infringements. It could be argued that security technology like identity authentication tools should provide enough verification for system administrators and government institutions to not have to  monitor private information.

Do you think it was ethical for authorities to use one of the high-ranking officials to trap other gang members? Why or why not?

In the case Secrete Service agent Brian Nagel organized the effort to track the Shadow Crew, by turning one of the high ranking officials against the group. I do not think this is an unethical practice, considering the fact that the high ranking official is a known member of a criminal organization. I don’t see this as being any different from traditional sting operations carried out by the police.

In a team, research the Internet and find the best ways to protect yourself from identity theft.

After a an extensive internet search, it appears that some of the most secure methods to prevent identity theft involve the use of third party authentication software and applications. Lynch points out that being aware of phishing scams plays an essential role in protecting one’s identity. He states that, “the most common phishing scam, the “phisher” sends an e-mail  disguised to look like it’s from a financial institution or e-commerce site to appear credible and to attract the recipient’s attention.

Why do you think UPS is embracing sustainable technologies?

There are a wide range of reason why UPS is embracing sustainable technology. The most prevalent and common reason among many companies “going green” deals with being socially responsible, specifically in the eyes of the public. Research shows public view of a company recognized as socially responsible has a positive impact on revenue and increasing return customer. The case suggests that the main reason UPS is implementing sustainable technology is to become more fuel efficient and have practices that are more cost effective than in previous years.

How is UPS developing a sustainable MIS infrastructure?

The main way UPS is investing in sustainable MIS infrastructure is by utilizing an electronics, computing and and a data processing system that guarantees they will have uninterrupted supply of power. The company also takes advantage of grid computing as well as cloud computing which provides both customers and staff with access to the company data base and website to track packages and run business operations on a 24 hour basis. The final way in which UPS is developing their MIS infrastructure is through the development of faster servers to make work more efficient, as well as more fiscally responsible through conserving energy by minimizing the size of server housing but maximizing the capacity.

What business benefits will UPS gain from virtualization?

Virtualization establishes a network of the use of multiple virtual machines connected through one single computing device. This is a method that cuts costs through the reduction of power requirements and e-waste. The main business benefit UPS gains from virtualization is that the company has more overall collective control over their business operations. They can centralize their management information processes and run them from one central location. The company also gains more objective knowledge of deliveries making their work more efficient.

What role does each characteristics of an agile MIS infrastructure play in helping UPS to operate its business?

Agile MIS infrastructure entails the use of efficient telecommunications equipment, hardware that can be easily readjusted to deal with any unexpected events the system may encounter. An agile MIS infrastructure also effectively manages accessibility to the system. This is important in regards to the level of access staff have to the system verses the access customers have or management have to the system.

How could UPS benefit from cloud or grid computing?

Grid computing entails the geographical dispersion of devices that are coordinated to solve specific problems within a system. The benefit of grid computing is that is breaks down problems into pieces and then resolves issues much faster than might occur with cloud computing. Cloud computing is when applications and resources are hosted on the internet. While this does cut expenses and the user does not incur hardware or software costs, it does leave files vulnerable to corruption if they are not secured properly.

What types of ethical issues might UPS encounter with the tracking technology it has placed in its trucks?

One key ethical issue is the evasion of privacy that might occur by tracking the location of every truck. There is also the impact this implied potential invasion of privacy can have on staff. There is also the feeling of distrust that may occur between the staff and the company as they will be more consciously aware their operations are being monitored.

What types of security issues might UPS encounter with the tracking technology it has placed in its trucks?

Most online retailers use secure socket layer (SSL) to keep customer data secure, but UPS may encounter some potential risk of identity theft if with their tracking technology if they are not diligent with keeping data encrypted and secure. Allowing people to get a hold of customer data will have a negative impact on the company.

References

Elgin, B. (2007). Little green lies. Business Week29, 45-52.

Lynch, J. (2005). Identity theft in cyberspace: crime control methods and their effectiveness in combating phishing attacks. Berkeley Tech. LJ, 20, 259.

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