You Are A Cybersecurity Analyst On A Security Team

You Are A Cybersecurity Analyst On A Security Team

You are a cybersecurity analyst on a security team at Red Cell 637 Defense, a DoD contractor specializing in cyber operations and defensive strategies.

High-ranking federal government officials informed your team that recent intelligence shows an advanced persistent threat (APT) is looking at exploiting supply chain vulnerabilities against the computers that operate the Western Interconnection power grid. You are to assume that this APT originates from either a well-funded nation state or terrorist group. The APT has been able to probe and map the network over the course of several months. The officials have given your team access to classified intelligence indicating that the currently unidentified group may be planning to install malicious malware within the grid’s computer network that will disrupt power to eleven states.

Your team has been asked to work closely with the DoD, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and other federal stakeholders to strengthen the security and safety of the power grid and its related computer information systems.

The federal agencies responsible for critical infrastructure protection want to ensure that the Western Interconnection power grid computer network has the strongest possible defense while ensuring continued operation. They formally request that your team analyze common vulnerabilities in SCADA networks such as the western power connection grid, and then apply the Cyber Kill Chain to determine how this adversary could have exploited the vulnerabilities to attack the network. In addition, you will utilize the NSA’s information assurance–based “Defense in Depth” strategy as it relates to the power grid’s computer networks to make recommendations for implementing stronger information assurance measures and actions. You will compose a report with graphics, detailing your recommendations for securing the network against future cyberattacks.


Your submission must be your original work. No more than a combined total of 30% of the submission and no more than a 10% match to any one individual source can be directly quoted or closely paraphrased from sources, even if cited correctly. Use the Turnitin Originality Report available in Taskstream as a guide for this measure of originality.

You must use the rubric to direct the creation of your submission because it provides detailed criteria that will be used to evaluate your work. Each requirement below may be evaluated by more than one rubric aspect. The rubric aspect titles may contain hyperlinks to relevant portions of the course.

A.  ICS Vulnerabilities and Cyber Kill Chain

1.  Reconnaissance - Summarize plausible active gathering, passive gathering, and active reconnaissance techniques that the adversary could have executed to gain intelligence on the target in the scenario.

2.  Weaponization and Delivery - Explain how the adversary could use the exploited intelligence to create a malicious payload, including plausible delivery methods of the payload to the target.

3.  Exploitation and Installation - Describe the series of events that could occur during the exploitation and installation of a malicious payload, including where the payload could be delivered on the network to accomplish the adversary’s goals as described in the scenario.

4.  Command & Control - Create a visual representation of channels through which an adversary could use tools to exploit a compromised network and create an “at will” entry point for sending and receiving information. Be sure to clearly indicate each component represented in your visual.

5.  Actions - Describe how the adversary is likely collecting and exfiltrating information from the Western Interconnection power grid, including how that information could be used to successfully execute an attack.

B.  “Defense in Depth” Recommendations

1.  People - Recommend information assurance policies or procedures specific to the facilities and personnel security that control and monitor access to facilities and critical infrastructures for the Western Interconnection power grid. Be sure to explain how each policy and procedure will raise information assurance levels.

2.  Technology – Recommend technology acquisition policies or procedures that the Western Interconnection power grid should use to detect and protect against cyberattacks. Be sure to explain how these policies or procedures will raise information assurance levels.

3.  Operations - Recommend policies or procedures to sustain security posture for the Western Interconnection power grid on a day-to-day basis. Be sure to explain how these policies or procedures will raise information assurance levels.

C.  Acknowledge sources, using APA-formatted in-text citations and references, for content that is quoted, paraphrased, or summarized


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