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Lecture 10. The iPremier Company: Denial of Service Attack. Synopsis. Successful high-end retailer shut down by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack which occurs for 75 minutes CIO Bob Turley coordinating from afar Some leaders helpful, others not so helpful. Case Overview.

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Lecture 10 l.jpg

Lecture 10

The iPremier Company:

Denial of Service Attack


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Synopsis

  • Successful high-end retailer shut down by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack which occurs for 75 minutes

  • CIO Bob Turley coordinating from afar

  • Some leaders helpful, others not so helpful


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Case Overview

  • Made-up case based on real events that have happened in various companies

  • Considers the management perspective of a DDoS attack

  • These are not common, but can be significant


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What is a DoS attack?

  • Handshake between communicating computers

  • Can be defended if all from one recognized source

  • Distributed DoS more difficult to defend against


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What is a firewall?

  • Combination of hardware and software to prevent unauthorized access to company’s internal computer resources

  • iPremier ‘not a real firewall’

  • Attack vs intrusion


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Crisis management

  • Normal human responses?

  • What is at stake?

  • What principles should be followed?


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How did iPremier do?

  • Recommendations

    • Before

    • During

    • After


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Follow up info

  • A few hours later, iPremier announced publicly that they have been victim of DDOS attack

    • 75 minutes, middle of night

    • Few customers inconvenienced

    • Would revisit already solid computer security

  • No conclusive evidence that intruders had tampered with production computer equipment

  • “Fingerprint” on files had not been kept up to date, so impossible to know extent of breach


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Security measures instituted

  • Restart all production computer equipment sequentially without interrupting service to customers

  • File-by-file examination of every file on every production computer looking for evidence of missing data

  • Began study of how “digital signature technology” might be used to assure that files on production computers were the same files initially installed there

  • Expedited project aimed at moving to a more modern hosting facility

  • Modernized computing infrastructure to include more sophisticated firewall

  • Implemented secure shell access so that production computing equipment could be modified and managed from off site

  • Added disk space to enable more logging, leading to better information if this happened again

  • Trained more staff in use of monitoring software, and educated about security threats

  • Created incident-response team, practiced simulated attack

  • Began executive search for chief security officer

  • Instituted quarterly third-party security audits


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Follow up info

  • Joanne Ripley recommends disconnecting all production computers and rebuild from scratch

    • Estimate 24 – 36 hours to complete

    • Documentation there, but things can go wrong

  • Heated debate over this suggestion

    • “only way to be sure”

    • “irresponsible to customers to do this” – hurt satisfaction

    • No evidence of compromise


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Thoughts

  • Follow Ripley’s suggestion?

  • What should be disclosed


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Two weeks later…

  • Call from FBI

    • Competitor MarketTop has been subject to a DDoS attack

    • Source of attack is within iPremier

  • Now what?

    • Shut down all?

    • Legal Issues

    • Credit Card Info could have been stolen…


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