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MIS301 Cyber Security Assignment Sample

Individual/Group - Individual
Length - 1500 words (+/- 10%)

Completion of the task below include:

a) Investigate and analyse the tenets of cybersecurity
b) Identify and communicate a range of threats and vulnerabilities to informational assets.
Submission Due by 11:55pm AEST Sunday of Module 2.2
Weighting 25%

Total Marks 100 marks


In Module 1, you learnt the five types of hacker threats that are common on the internet: commodity threats, hacktivists, organised crime, espionage and cyberwar. In Assessment 1, you are required to choose any three of the five types of hacker threats and undertake some research into the cybersecurity literature and/or media coverage to find one incident for each of the chosen three types of hacker threats. For each incident, you will:

1. describe the attack and the immediate result of the attack (i.e. what was the asset that was

2. describe the motivation behind the attack

3. identify and describe the vulnerability (or vulnerabilities) in the organisation that made the attack possible

4. describe the short-term and long-term impact (financial, reputational or otherwise) of the attack on the organisation

5. describe the responses from the affected organisation and society as a whole.

Reflect on all the incidents, and critically discuss the factors that make the prevention of cyber-attack challenging.

The incidents should meet the following criteria:

• The attack must be a cyber-attack.
• The attack was within the last ten years.

Your report should include the following for assignment help

Title page: It should include subject code and name, assessment number, report title, assessment due date, word count (actual), student name, student ID, Torrens email address, campus learning facilitator, and subject coordinator.

Table of Contents (ToC): It should list the report topics using decimal notation. It needs to include the main headings and subheadings with corresponding page numbers, using a format that makes the hierarchy of topics clear. Because you are including a ToC, the report pages should be numbered in the footer as follows: the title page has no page number, and the main text should have Arabic numerals commencing at 1. Create the ToC using Microsoft Word’s ToC auto-generator rather than manually typing out the ToC. Instructions can be found here https://support.office.com/en-
gb/article/Create- a-table-of-contents-or-update-a-table-of-contents-eb275189-b93e-4559-8dd9-c279457bfd72#__create_a_table.

Introduction (90-110 words): It needs to provide a concise overview of the problem you have been asked to research, the main aims/purpose of the report, the objectives to be achieved by writing the report and how you investigated the problem. Provide an outline of the sections of the report.

Body of the report (use appropriate headings in the body of the report) (1170-1430 words): Ensure that you address the tasks listed above. Do NOT use generic words such as ‘Body, Body of the Report, Tasks’ as section headings. Create meaningful headings and subheadings that reflect the topic and content of your report.

The body of your report should have the following structure:

2.0 Hacker threat 1
2.1 Description of the incident (approximately 80 words)
2.2 Motivation (approximately 50 words)
2.3 Vulnerabilities (approximately 80 words)
2.4 Short-term and long-term impact (approximately 70 words)
2.5 Responses (approximately 70 words)
3.0 Hacker threat 2
3.1 Description of the incident (approximately 80 words)
3.2 Motivation (approximately 50 words)
3.3 Vulnerabilities (approximately 80 words)
3.4 Short-term and long-term impact (approximately 70 words)
3.5 Responses (approximately 70 words)
4.0 Hacker threat 3
4.1 Description of the incident (approximately 80 words)
4.2 Motivation (approximately 50 words)
4.3 Vulnerabilities (approximately 80 words)
4.4 Short-term and long-term impact (approximately 70 words)
4.5 Responses (approximately 70 words)
5.0 Factors that make the prevention of cyber-attack challenging (approximately 250 words)
Conclusion (90-110 words): Restate the purpose of the report and key issues investigated, and the related findings based on your research and analysis.



Cyberattacks become a common threat not only for personal data security but also for government and organizational information protection. It could be considered as an assault of cybercriminals to steal data, disable computers, breaks the networks, or use a breached computer system to commit vulnerable additional attacks. The rate of cybercrime and cyberattacks are increasing day by the day and becoming a major concern to cybersecurity experts globally [Referred to appendix]


This report aims at selecting three incidents that come under different kinds of cyber-attacks and provide a brief description of their vulnerability and impact.


? To find out the cyberattacks that occurred in the last 10 years
? To evaluate the motivation and vulnerabilities of cyber attacks
? To estimate the short-term and long-term impact of a cyberattack
? To explore the response of those cyber attacks

Body of the report

2.0 Hacktivist

2.1 Description of the incident

Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia has stated that the Australian government and institutions become the major target of being hacked by sophisticated state-based cyber hackers. It has been found that hacking attacks are happening several times and it is increasing. In fact, Prime Minister has refused to identify ant state actors. According to his opinion, government institutes, political organizations, Australian industry, educational institutes, health services in Australia, essential service providers, along with operators of several important critical infrastructures are the major target of these attacks (Bbc.com, 2020).

2.2 Motivation

The motivation behind this kind of attack is to steal government data and breach it so that political and social agendas could be fulfilled by attackers. However, the actual motivation behind this track is not specified by Mr. Morrison (9 news.com.au, 2020).

2.3 Vulnerabilities

It is easy for attackers to utilize government data in order to influence common people to motivate them against political leaders. It could be political and social activism that could breach the government data and manipulate them.

2.4 Short-term and long-term impact

Short term impact of this cyber-attack could be deleting important information or disclosing any confidential government data so that reflects directly over the impression of the Australian government. In case of long-term impact, the misuse of data to defame the Australian government in front of the world or positing any illicit or illegal content to influence people against their political leader could have occurred.

2.5 Responses

The Australian government has strengthened its cybersecurity and recruited more efficient cyber experts to prevent those attacks. In fact, the prime mister has suggested improving technical defenses, especially for emergency service providers and health infrastructure (Bbc.com, 2020). Proper awareness in the public mind reading this kind of attack is the most effective response from the end of the Australian government.

3.0 Espionage

3.1 Description of the incident

In 2016, President Trump had hired a political data firm namely Cambridge Analytica for their election campaign. The purpose of this operation was to gain access to the private information and data shared by 50 million Facebook users (Granville, 2018). In this respect, the users were asked to proceed with a personal survey in which they needed to download and installed an application that has scrapped their own private pieces of information along with available friends in their friend lists so that their political overviews and information could be generated. However, this attack was made for the welfare of the government and no data breaching of Facebook users had occurred.

3.2 Motivation

The actual motivation behind this operation was not to breach or misuse any private information of users of Facebook. It was conducted for political motivation towards the election campaign. The main aspect of this operation was to identify the personalities and political behavior of American voters so that the election campaign could proceed accordingly.

3.3 Vulnerabilities

The activity of Cambridge Analytica was vulnerable for Facebook users as Facebook prohibits data selling or data transferring to any service (Granville, 2018). In this respect, the data are used to influence political behavior and overview of American voters hence it is a vulnerable practice.

3.4 Short-term and long-term impact

The short-term impact of this kind of hacking of user profiles in Facebook could be immense as it collected the personal data of users to influence their political views. The overall election process needed to be fair and impartial enough so it could be stated as malpractice. In case of long-term impact, the users cannot rely on or trust Facebook and raise questions over the security arrangements of this application.

3.5 Responses

Increasing the security service along with protection of accounts needed to be done by Facebook. Raising awareness not to download any kind of application or participate in any survey could be effective to protect these kinds of cyberattacks. In this respect protection of user accounts could be a major concern as it contains personal photos of users which might be used for any misconduct.

4.0 Cyberwar

4.1 Description of the incident

In 2017, 3 billion Yahoo accounts have been hacked and could be stated as the biggest theft and largest data breach in history (Stempel & Finkle, 2017). In 2013, Yahoo had compromised 1 minion of user accounts and Yahoo become forced to cut down their assets price in a sale to Verizon. Yahoo has stated that all of their user's accounts could be affected but they assured that stolen information could not consist of payment data, information of bank account, or passwords in cleartext (Theguardian.com, 2017). The major concerning factors are that that information is protected through easy-to-encryption that is outdated.

4.2 Motivation

The motivation behind this hacking could be stated as defaming Yahoo for its low-category security arrangements. Another major motivation for information stealing is to use those information details for wrong purposes, terrorism, or defaming popular personalities using Yahoo.

4.3 Vulnerabilities

Yahoo accounts are vulnerable to being exposed due to its outdated security protection arrangements. Due to these two huge cyberattacks occurring in this internet company, Verizon has made their offer lower by 350 million US dollars for yahoo assets (Stempel & Finkle, 2017).

4.4 Short-term and long-term impact

In case of short-term impact, the accounts of users might be used for the wrong intention, promoting terrorism, or conducting monetary breaching through bank account details. The long-term impact of this cyberwar is that these attacks might defame the security activity of Yahoo hence the number of users of Yahoo accounts would be reduced hence it could impact the revenue generation.

4.5 Responses

Yahoo has increased its security in the data protection of users in order to maintain cybersecurity. They have hired experts so that the security of user accounts could be protected so that no data could be accessed to proceed with any kind of misconduct.
5.0 Factors that make the prevention of cyber-attack challenging

Safeguarding IoT Devices

Safeguarding IoT devices is one of the major challenges that affect the prevention procedure of cyberattacks. It is true that IoT devices are easy to access through the internet and that is the major chance undertaken by cybercriminals (Zhang et al., 2020). Maintaining safety in IoT devices becomes a major challenge for cyber experts as these devices are interconnected and getting access to one device, all of the connected devices are accessible. In the case of government data, the IoT device's safeguarding process is the major barrier.

Figure 1: Factors that make the prevention of cyber-attack challenging
(Source: Created by Learner)

Outdated Security Service

Outdated security service is one of the major barriers to preventing cyberattacks. It is true that nowadays technologies are advanced and lack of scope to update security services in websites could be effective to prevent cyberattacks. According to Lezzi, Lazoi& Corallo (2018), outdated security services are easy to encrypt and that makes hackers access easily targeted devices or websites. However, a lack of updated security service could be considered a major challenge for cyber security experts.

Outdated Hardware

In order to increase the security of software, the developers often proceed with updating their software to enhance their security practice to protect stored data. However, continuous updates of software might not be supported by old devices hence the hardware needed to be updated soon (Mashiane &Kritzinger, 2021). The major challenge has been faced while the updated software could not be supported in a backdated device version or model. However, it could be stated as a major factor for challenging the prevention of cyberattacks.


It could be concluded from the above discussion that cybercrimes becoming a major concern in both developed and developing countries to access the information that could be vulnerable for individuals, groups, or the whole nation. Hacktivists, espionage, and cyberwar are three major cyberattacks among cybercrime. These attacks are affecting not only personal data but also organizational aspects. The vulnerabilities and impacts of these attacks are prolonged and wide that could defame individuals or organizations, or even the whole country. However, raising awareness among people and indulging in proper response is crucial to prevent these cyberattacks by increasing security services from the end of the country, organizations, along individuals.


9 news.com.au, (2020). 'Sophisticated state-based' cyber attack hits Australian government, businesses in major breach. https://www.9news.com.au/national/cyber-attack-australia-scott-morrison-government-private-sector-breach-of-security/e621ae47-f810-4fa7-9c11-3caa3b09f4dc

Bbc.com, (2020). Australia cyber attacks: PM Morrison warns of 'sophisticated' state hack. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-46096768

Granville, K. (2018). Facebook and Cambridge Analytica: What you need to know as fallout widens. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/technology/facebook-cambridge-analyticaexplained.html

Lezzi, M., Lazoi, M., & Corallo, A. (2018). Cybersecurity for Industry 4.0 in the current literature: A reference framework. Computers in Industry, 103, 97-110. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166361518303658

Mashiane, T., &Kritzinger, E. (2021). Identifying behavioral constructs in relation to user cybersecurity behavior. Eurasian Journal of Social Sciences, 9(2), 98-122. https://eurasianpublications.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/EJSS-

Stempel, J. & Finkle, J. (2017). Yahoo says all three billion accounts hacked in 2013 data theft. Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yahoo-cyber/yahoo-says-allthree-billion-accounts-hacked-in-2013-data-theft-idUSKCN1C82O1

Theguardian.com, 2017. Yahoo says all of its 3bn accounts were affected by 2013 hacking. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/03/yahoo-says-all-of-its-3bn-accounts-were-affected-by-2013-hacking

Zhang, J., Li, G., Marshall, A., Hu, A., & Hanzo, L. (2020). A new frontier for IoT security emerging from three decades of key generation relying on wireless channels. IEEE Access, 8, 138406-138446. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/9149584/

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