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:
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- 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.