Social Engineering Attacks and Counter intelligence
CIS 502 Theories of Security Management
Prof. (Dr.) Gideon Nwatu
May, 5, 2013
Describe what social engineering and counterintelligence are and their potential implications to our national security in regard to the leaked Afghan War Diary and the Iraq War Logs
“Social engineering is a term that describes a non-technical kind of intrusion that relies heavily on human interaction and often involves tricking other people to break normal security procedures”. (Rouse, 2006) Social engineering is a con game in where a person breaks into a computer network in the ...view middle of the document...
Most nations have a government agency which supervises counterintelligence, and often several intelligence agencies have a counterintelligence branch which is separate from their regular operations”. (Smith, 2013) The main purpose of counterintelligence is to keep potentially sensitive information out of enemy hands. Counterintelligence agents coordinate with security agents to ensure that information is secured and protected.
According to (Smith, 2013), counterintelligence agencies gather information on foreign and enemy intelligence agencies, looking at their structures, methods of working, and known operatives. This information is used to exploit vulnerabilities and security holes on the enemy's side while protecting vital information. These agencies also works to prevent subversion, assassination, sabotage, and other threats to information security and national security, using information gathered from enemy organizations to stay ahead of such threats.
In regards to the leaked Afghan War Diary and Iraq War Logs released by WikiLeaks is how does social engineering and counterintelligences potential implications to national security. Before delving into WikiLeaks’ release of the Afghan War Diary and Iraq War Logs in July and October 2010 and potential implications to national security, it is important to understand what is WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks is an independent, non-profit online media organization that publishes submissions of otherwise unavailable documents from anonymous sources. “The organization’s self-stated mandate explains its primary interests are oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the west who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their own governments and corporations”. (Rouse, 2010)
WikiLeaks allows any user to add or edit the submissions of restricted or censored material of political, ethical, diplomatic or historical significance. The identity of the source is protected. Many followers of WikiLeaks praise the organization for its promotion of free speech, transparency and open information. Critics of WikiLeaks assert that documents they make available may have been acquired illegally and may be published without adequate fact-checking. It is interesting to note that WikiLeaks’ spokesperson, Julian Assange is an internet activist and hacker.
WikiLeaks website in itself does not fit the classic term of social engineering, but the way in which it was used regarding the release of the Afghan War Diary and Iraq War Logs was. It is the belief that WikiLeaks’ platform of promoting free speech, transparency and open information regarding unethical behavior by governments and corporations appeals to those individuals who may feel disenfranchised or find their values in conflict with their government or organization such as in the case of the US Army Soldier who released documents to WikiLeaks.