Being Faceless and Traceless

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The ability to be invisible and untraceable is a desired trait for any attacker. If an attack is possible, can it be done with full anonymity even if it fails? The non-repudiation control is applied by system owners who want to be sure that all interactions are recorded so that later no one can deny having made an interaction. This control is used in most all regulations that define business transparency even if just for the sake of bookkeeping. However, it's also used to assure that the child who accesses adult materials online cannot deny having been sufficiently warned about that content or to protect the online store that wants further verification of a purchaser in order to reduce fraudulent purchases.

Overcoming non-repudiation is a difficult task in the physical world but much easier in the electronic world and merely simple in the wireless world. Since the non-repudiation control is often managed only upon access to the assets, attacks against the information in motion, between the sender and the receiver, circumvent the controls. A parallel to this in the physical world is easiest to see when you consider how robbing a bank itself may expose the thief to a number of surveillance devices such as cameras, but the criminal attacking the armored car moving the money between banks encounters fewer such devices, if any at all.

Avoiding properly applied non-repudiation is difficult because access to the assets will track the time, date, and the user's location of origin. Therefore, the attacker must first attack another system and use that as the point of origin. This allows the attacker to create a chain so the point of origin is sufficiently obscured through multiple systems. Fortunately, some attackers make dumb mistakes such as downloading stolen files directly to the point of origin and not through the chain that they created, effectively giving away their location.

Another means of stealing data without it being logged is to steal data in transit between the target and another user. Although this may be possible if weak or no encryption is applied during the transfer, it still does not allow attackers to choose what data to steal.

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