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RA 2: Contemporary Issues and Methods: Anonymous
In today’s world, technology must be considered when examining the psychology of espionage. Additionally, societal response is a key in understanding the impact of these acts. In this assignment, you will have the opportunity to analyze the relationship between cyber activity compromising national security information and the social media response.
The government organization for which you work has taken notice of the actions of a group named “Anonymous” against the Church of Scientology, among others. In order to better prepare, your organization wants you to analyze, from a forensic psychological perspective, a potentially significant compromise of national security information via a cyber attack. You have been instructed to use the attack on Scientology, the HBGary attack, or other significant cyber attacks credited to Anonymous as your basis of comparison.
Using the Argosy University online library resources and other reputable, valid sources, research the group Anonymous and its cyber-hacking activities, paying particular attention to the actions against the group’s methods. Use your interrogatories (who, what, where, when, how, and why) to guide your research.
Write a 10- to 12-page report that analyzes the impact this group has (or may have) on the U.S. (societal impact, including economic and infrastructure), corporate America (business impact), and the government (political impact).
In your report, address the following:
- Provide a synopsis of the group’s methods, goals, and activities. Make sure you address its actions against its target as well as its overall activities, goals, and methods. Also, include an explanation of the group’s members and its makeup (e.g., the demographics and characteristics of the group members).
- Discuss motivations and possible explanations for the group’s behavior. Identify the psychological constructs and processes and explain the group’s actions. For example, describe what types of social psychological constructs reinforce its membership. Social psychology research on group dynamics will help in this explanation.
Analyze the impact of a potential attack on the US government. At minimum, address the following:
- How vulnerable is the US government to a potential cyber attack?
- What parts of the IC are most affected by a potential cyber attack on US systems? Why?
Analyze the impact of a potential attack on society. At minimum, address the following:
- What role would the social media play in future incidents of espionage and counterintelligence (CI) activities?
- What would be society’s response to the attack? Would society be supportive or nonsupportive? How would it be divided? Justify your answers.
- What would be the real and intangible consequences of Anonymous’s hacking activities? What would be the positive and negative impacts of its actions on society? Overall, would society benefit from or be hurt by such actions? Justify your answers.
- Summarize key points and provide a conclusion, based on your analysis, of what can be done in the IC to avoid future compromises.
Note: Make sure you write in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrate ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; and display accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Include citations in the text and at the end of the document in correct APA format.
RA 2 is worth 300 points and will be graded according to the following rubric:
Assignment Component Proficient Max Points Synopsis of the incident (i.e., who, what, why, where, how). Course Objective (CO) 3 Synopsis is clear, complete, and accurate. It describes group’s methods, members, goals, and common activities. /40 pts Motivation behind the incident, including psychological constructs, processes, and motivations. CO 1/CO 3 Motivation behind the incident is clear and accurate. Appropriate psychological constructs are applied to the incident. Evidence from course readings is used to support ideas. /44 pts Analysis of impact on USG, including vulnerabilities and parts of IC most affected. CO 2 Analysis of impact on USG is clear and complete. It addresses the current vulnerabilities and appropriately discusses parts of IC most affected by a potential cyber attack. /60 pts Analysis of societal impact, including role of social media in espionage and CI, and consequences. CO 3 Analysis of societal impact is clear and complete. It addresses the role of social media in espionage and CI in an accurate and appropriate way. Society’s response is clear, reasonable, and completely described. Appropriate and specific societal consequences of the incident are identified. Evidence from course readings is used to support ideas. /60 pts Summary and preventative actions. CO 3 Summary concisely reviews analysis. Proposed preventative actions are reasonable and clear; they use evidence from the course readings to support ideas. /60 pts Write in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrate ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; and display accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Include citations in text and at the end of the document in the correct APA format. Writing is generally clear and in an organized manner. It demonstrates ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; and generally displays accurate spelling, grammar, punctuation. Errors are few, isolated, and do not interfere with reader’s comprehension. Citations in text and at the end of the document are in correct APA format. /36 pts /300 pts Page 2 of 2Psychology of Counterintelligence ©2014 Argosy University
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