Information system security
NCase Project 5-1: Configuring Encryption in Word 2010
The chief information officer (CIO) in your organization has expressed concerns about the use of encryption by employees. Currently, users encrypt Microsoft Word documents using the built-in encryption function. The CIO has been considering a third-party cryptographic product, but needs more information about how Word encryption works before she can make an informed decision.
You have been asked to write a two-page report that explains the extent to which the IT department can configure the cryptographic features of Word 2010. What is the process involved in configuring encryption?
Case Project 5-2: Using DNSSEC
You are employed by an e-commerce company as an assistant to the chief security officer. Your company has received a number of recent complaints from customers who have ordered products but have not received them. In addition, many of these customers have reported being victims of identity theft. Your company’s legal department has recommended that all departments study their practices to ensure that they are taking reasonable measures to prevent identity theft. The chief security officer believes that DNS cache poisoning attacks may be responsible for traffic being redirected from your company’s Web site to impostor Web sites where customer information is then collected and misused.
You have been asked to prepare a two-page report that explains how DNS cache poisoning attacks work and how the DNSSEC system can help to prevent these attacks.
Case Project 5-1: Configuring Encryption in Word 2010
Computers and other digital devices have become increasingly useful to the business and commerce field. Companies continue to use computing devices to get work done. The technology advancement has also made the business field vulnerable and a target to attacks. Thus for the business to use the technology mediums in confidence they must be ensured that all communications will be secure. Security is a major concern because sensitive documents can be attacked and manipulated by hackers. Developers and scientists have introduced many techniques to protect the stored data from hackers. Integrating technology in the business convenient and fast workflow but also has some negative impacts. Hackers can steal data and manipulate or commit acts of fraud to a business (Boyce,2010). Ensuring confidentiality and integrity requires a variety of tools embedded in the applications and communication software. The tools can be utilized to secure the overall system through authentication processes such as encryption. Often times businesses transform information over the internet thus without proper authentication unauthorized persons can get access to the data.
Encryption involves the process of encoding data upon its storage or transmission to only be accessed by the authorized persons. The encryption is executed by a computer program that encodes the transmitted document hence the receiver receives the decoded cipher tests and decodes it. However, the sender and receiver have to agree on the encoding methods for efficient communication. Both the parties must have the encryption key to enable decoding of the transmitted data (Jaber et al.2013). The types of keys that can be used to decrypt involve a public key which can be given to anyone who wishes to transmit data to the recipient. Each user requires a public and private key to send and decode the message.
Microsoft rights management allows the users to share and store the documents in a secure manner through encryptions. The documents sent can be vulnerable to unauthorized access through many ways such as accidental sends thus the system leverages on the identity-based encryption through usernames and passwords that decrypt and encrypt data. The Microsoft office 2010 entails to build encryption features that offers password protection services (Jaber et al.2013). The process to protect a Microsoft office document is to click the file tab to access the menu and the info section of the file. The info section provides the option to encrypt the document with a password .the second step involves typing in the strong password such as the long passphrase with ten or more characters thus strengthening the encryption of the document. Strong passwords ensure that the document will not be accessed by unauthorized persons. Once encrypted, the document becomes inaccessible the attackers or viruses until its opened using the password. However, if you lose your password, it will be impossible to recover the document hence it is important to safely store the password (Boyce,2010). The user must remember to close the document after edits and to only open it when it’s necessary. Collaborative projects where the encryption is shared should ensure that the password is stored securely to prevent invasions.
The encryption can be disabled by accessing the document that requires the disabling. By clicking the file at the menu section the info tab will pop up hence the user will click the encryption section in the protect document tab. Backspacing out all the characters in the password section will disable the encryption hence the user will not require a password to open the document.
Case Project 5-2: Using DNSSEC
DNS cache poisoning can be prevented through common ways such as applying the DNSSEC for better security. DNSSEC stands for Domain Name Security Extensions which is applied to improve the DNS security.DNS cache poisoning is an attack that invades the DNS domain thus exploiting the vulnerabilities by diverting internet traffic from the authentic servers to the fake ones. The DNS attack is dangerous because it can spread through the serves thus compromising the legitimate servers and their information. The domain name system associated with IP addresses and the devices associated with it through relying on the DNS for resolving URL’s (Silva, 2014). A DNS poisoning attack is executed by sending made up responses from the malicious party with the intention of rerouting the domain name to a new IP address that is controlled by the attacker. For example, accessing a domain name like google.com requires the computer to contacts its DNS server. The computer connects to the generated IP address after reaching the domain name. The DNS converts the human-readable domain name into a readable IP address (Sheldon et al.2012).
The DNS cache poisoning is a dangerous attack because it has no real way of determining the legitimate nature of the DNS response. Long term solutions to the DNS poisoning such as DNSSEC allows the DNS to get recorded using public key cryptography thus providing protection against attacks. The DNSSEC creates safety by verifying the root domain in a process called signing the root. The IP address is requested from the recursive name server whenever the user attempts to access the site thus protecting it from unauthorized access. The DNSSEC also requests the zones key after the records requests for IP address verification. The verification process extends to the authoritative name server thus the recursive name server verifies the address record to ensure it is safe. The verification determines if the address has been modified and resolves it to match the domain source (Silva, 2014). If the domain source has been modified, the recursive server prevents the connection from occurring to the site. The DNNSSEC is majorly recommended for organizations for security and protection. DNS weaknesses occur when unsigned zones are issued thus leaving the systems open and vulnerable to attacks; therefore, DNSSEC is deployed to prevent attacks on the open data systems.
DNS cache poisoning occurs when it incorrectly entered after an attacker changes the information on it. For instance, an established DNS like google.com will be considered to be poisoned if the attacker exploits it and alters the IP address thus redirecting the users into a wrong address. However, through the DNSSEC the security verification utilizes the PKI authentication that signs the DNS records using two cryptographic, one public and one private that is published to create the Resource Record Digital Signature (RRDS) (Sheldon et al.2012). The RRDS can be sent to the client alongside the DNS records thus enabling authentication of the DNS records. DNS attacks are inevitable especially is the user is running a server without a record of validation hence an attacker can easily hack and redirect the DNS records. Enabling the DNESSC is a necessity for the website users.
However, enabling the DNESSC is not an easy task because many registrars still do not support the validation of the security in their domain names. DNSSEC can only be enabled when the domain name infrastructure and server enables the set up as well. Study shows (Silva, 2014) that its adaptation has been a slow process hence users will have to wait for a couple of years to enjoy the benefits of a convenient domain security environment.
Boyce, J. (2010). Microsoft Outlook 2010 Inside Out. Microsoft Press.
Jaber, M., Konetski, D., McCall, D. C., Molsberry, F. H., Stufflebeam Jr, K. W., & Kopp, M. A. (2013). U.S. Patent Application No. 12/328,213.
Silva, P. (2014). DNSSEC: The Antidote to DNS Cache Poisoning and Other DNS A acks.
Sheldon, F. T., Weber, J. M., Yoo, S. M., & Pan, W. D. (2012). The insecurity of wireless networks. IEEE Security & Privacy, 10(4), 54-61.