Making Changes

Popularity:

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Simplicity:

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Impact:

10

Risk Rating:

10

One of the most common methods for attacking a system or a process is to destroy its integrity. Systems that have been accessed by an attacker usually require a new re-install to reset integrity. Databases that cannot be read may force a wily attacker just to make it look like it has by slipping in varying amounts of false data to reduce its usefulness or the trust users might have in it. Confidential communications that cannot be read may be scrambled so that nobody else can read them either.

Stories abound in warfare where a message is intercepted and changed to make the enemy stop when they should attack or hide when they should fight. The integrity of crucial information is as crucial as the message. So to challenge the integrity is to change the message, even if the message does not get changed; but the recipient might not know that and disregard it anyway.

A challenge to integrity will almost always guarantee a cost in time and money for an organization that needs to spend time ensuring that no information or services have been tainted. Organizations that rely on the veracity of their information are easy victims for such attacks.

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