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Title:FBI Major Case 216: A Case Study
Author(s):Ricker, Kathleen; Barlow, James; Adams, Craig
Abstract:This case study describes FBI Major Case 216, which ultimately became a collaborative investigation between the FBI and site security professionals into a series of cyberattacks that took place from August 2003 to March 2005. Incident response specialists at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), played a significant and crucial role in this investigation. The attacks encompassed over a thousand sites, including high-security military sites and federal research laboratories, university sites, private sector sites, and machines owned by individuals, both in the U.S. and in Europe. In one case, a large company (Cisco) reported the theft of source code, which was later published online. The case drew much concerned interest from the FBI and the Departments of Energy and Defense particularly because of the initial, very real possibility that the attacks were sponsored by a foreign state. However, most of the damage sustained came in the form of time spent investigating the intrusions; notifying sites and users; and cleaning up, repairing, and securing the compromised systems. Investigation participants, estimate the cumulative cost of the Stakkato intrusions to be in millions of dollars. At its peak, the investigation involved 50 federal agents. Ultimately, the intrusions were traced back to a 19-year-old man in Uppsala, Sweden, nicknamed “Stakkato,” who had begun the attacks when he was 16. Convicted of having gained unauthorized access to several Swedish university networks, “Stakkato” is still under investigation by the FBI for the Cisco code theft.
Issue Date:2008-02-06
Sponsor:Federal Bureau of Investigation
National Center for Supercomputing Applications
Rights Information:This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-­NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY­NC 3.0) license.
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-05-18

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  • Cybersecurity
    This is a collection of works by the NCSA Cybersecurity Team.

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