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Post#1 student name Abdulelah

RE: Weekly Topics & Commentse

In this week’s discussion post, I will summarize an article on “A Cyber Revolution: Advanced Attacks Increasing in EMEA Reflect Political Tension,” published in 2016 on the FireEye website. The report can be accessed on https://www.fireeye.com/blog/threat-research/2016/05/a_cyber_revolution.html

The article explains the economic, geopolitical, and financial changes in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) in 2015 in the cyber realm. The article notes that attacks show political tensions on European markets the same as cyber-threats. The report also highlights that ransomware continues to threaten organizations, and organizations struggle to defend to avoid more losses (Chandiramani and Monrad, 2016). Advance cyber realm threats targeting the government and industries expose countries to cyber conflicts. The article concludes by predicting the continuation of the malicious actors targeting EMEA and become more disruptive.

As highlighted in the article, cyber threats on governments pose significant risks. In the cyber revolution, cyberspace has fewer gaps of vulnerabilities due to the nature of cyberweapons. It is unlikely for one power to dominate (Kello, n.d.). The information revolution and the ability of cross-cutting across nations such as in EMEA show the need for power diffusion in the cyber realm. In cyberspace also, conflicts over the physical infrastructure that further passes to economic and jurisdiction control conflicts show there is a need to diffuse power (Nye, 2010). In this case, it also essential to note that traditional ways are limited in solving the cyberwar. Therefore, as shown in the article, cyber revolutions have impacts on security issues, and nontraditional players impact a country economically and socially. There is, therefore, a need to address cyber conflicts through power diffusion. As noted by Valeriano and Maness (2015), in cyber disputes, there is a need to evaluate aspects such as limitation of cyber conflict and the concept of proportionality. This shows the need for power diffusion. In advocating for a system of justices in cyber conflict, the system should consider the interest of the international community to avoid norms that may haunt the country in the future. This shows the need for power diffusion in the information revolution era.


Chandiramani, Y. and, Monrad, J. (2016, May 4). A Cyber Revolution: Advanced Attacks Increasing in EMEA Reflect Political Tension. Retrieved from https://www.fireeye.com/blog/threat-research/2016/05/a_cyber_revolution.html.

Kello, L. (n.d.). The Meaning of the Cyber Revolution: Perils to Theory and Statecraft. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/20191013171521cyberrevolution_1_%20(1).pdf


Valeriano, B., & Maness, R. C. (2015). Cyberwar versus cyber realities: cyber conflict in the international system. Oxford University Press, USA.

Post #2 student name Walid

RE: Weekly Topics & Commentse


The article I will review in this week’s post is titled “New Reductor Nation-State Malware Compromises TLS” the article was published on October 10, 2019 at the Schneier on Security website and is available at https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2019/10/new…

The article reports of a new malware that is called “Reductor”. The malware was discovered by Kaspersky which identified that it functions through compromising Transport Layer Security (TLS) traffic. This is accomplished through infecting the computer with compromised TSL engine. The process of infecting the computer exploits the TSL handshake process where the random-number generator becomes compromised and at the same time new digital certificated are introduced. When this is accomplished, a hacker is able to access and intercept TSL traffic from the infected computer and decrypt it. When examined using the Kaspersky Attribution Engine, the Reductor malware was identified to bear many similarities with the COMPFUN Trojan. In fact, the investigation suggested a strong likelihood that the COMPfun Trojan is utilized in the distribution scheme of the Reductor Malware. COMPfun Trojan, according to Kaspersky is attributed to Russian-based cyber espionage group by the name Turla APT group. It is reported that Turla APT group is a well-known hacking group that is determined to use innovative techniques such as using compromised satellite infrastructure to launch attacks. The attribution of the Reductor malware to the Turla APT was based on analysis and comparison of the malware and its victimology with previous malware by the same hacking group. Despite the findings of the analysis, the attribution of Reductor to Russia-linked Turla is still a matter of speculation.

What is clear from this article is that attribution of cyberattacks is a major problem. The attribution problem becomes even more challenging in cases of cyberattacks that are linked to interstate cyberwars. This problem in highlighted by Joseph Nye Jr. who identifies that attribution of an attack to a specific source may take time. Therefore, timely retaliation may be difficult.He further notes that before an attacker is identified, they may relocate or change their identity thus making it difficult to respond effectively. He alsoclaim that attribution problem can weaken deterrence because of the fact that identifying the real perpetrators and applying a specific penalty is difficult. The attribution problem has been demonstrated in the Reductor malware case since its attribution to the Russia-linked Turla APT is a speculation. This shows the difficulty that are encountered when applying deterrence strategies.

Attribution problem is also highlighted in Derek Reveron’s book. It is indicated that attribution problem creates a major challenge for federal and state organizations to identify effective deterrence measures. This in some way creates an incentive for attackers to continue engaging in cyberattacks given the difficulties increasing the cost of launching an attack for the attackers. Looking at this issue, several questions do arise concerning the alternative cyber security approaches. For instance, we can think about approaches to making attribution more effective. on this aspect we can ask whether technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) can applied to aid in attribution.