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ITC595 Information Security - Charles Sturt University


Question 1

Automated Teller Machines (ATM) are designed so that users will provide a personal identification number (PIN) and a card to access their bank accounts. Give examples of confidentiality, integrity and availability requirements associated in such a system and describe the degree of importance for each requirement.

Answer 1- The few examples of integrity, availability and confidentiality related to ATM that is Automatic Teller Machine are as follows:

For Confidentiality- When we chat about the confidentiality of data that means that we need to protect that information from revelation to unofficial parties.

In case of ATM in order to complete a transaction the card needs to be actually present at the ATM. The customer enters his pin, and the transaction is completed through a protected network. Here we can see that the scheme efforts to impose confidentiality by scrambling the card number and PIN through transmission, by restraining the places where it might have the chance to appear and also by limiting access where it is kept (2019).

Importance of confidentiality- If the PIN is not properly encrypted then it may lead to theft. An unsecured PIN may result in theft.
For Integrity- Integrity here means that numbers cannot be altered without proper consent. Every customer wants that the record of each transaction should be maintained without any kind of fault.

Importance of Integrity- If a person withdrew $50 from ATM after which his balance remains to $ 5400. But this is updated to be $5000 accidently. This is a loss of amount to the customer. As this affects the account of the customers it is necessary that the integrity of each and every transaction should be secured ("A Survey on ATM Security", 2019).

For Availability- It is notable that the ATM should be available and accessible to the customers at all point of time. It can be said that the service should not be interrupted in any case.
Importance of availability - The availability of ATM increases the economic growth of the banks.

Question 2

A thief broke into an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) using a screwdriver and was able to jam the card reader as well as breaking five keys from the keypad. The thief had to halt the process of break-in and hide, as a customer approached to use the ATM. The customer was able to successfully enter their ATM card, punch in the 4 digit PIN and was able to draw out some cash. Since the card reader was jammed, the customer was however not able to withdraw the ATM card, and drove off to seek some help. In the meantime, the thief came back and decided to try to discover the customer's PIN so that he can steal money from the customer. You are required to calculate the maximum number of PINs that the thief may have to enter before correctly discovering the customer's PIN?

Answer 2- We all are aware that the ATM PIN is basically a 4-digit number. In this case, the extreme number of PIN's which could be entered in a single digit of the PIN is 10 {0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9}.
The calculations are as follows:
As we do not know the exact numbers so each PIN digit can be packed with any numbers.
10*10*10*10 = 10000.
As per the situation which is stated here, the thief was able to break 5 keys from the system. Considering that these are broken the following can be suggested as the maximum number of PINs the thief might need to enter before properly determining the customer's PIN (Chia, 2019):
Now the number which the thief can use is as follows:
The OIN is a 4 digit number so each digit can be filled with any of eth remaining 5 numbers:
5*5*5*5 = 625
So as per the above explanation, the maximum figure of PINs that the robber might need to enter before he could crack the actual customer PIN is 625.


Question 3

Thinking about bio-metric authentication, list three reasons why people may be reluctant to use bio-metrics. Describe various ways of how to counter those objections.

Answer 3- There might be nume4rous reasons why the customers vacillate to use the biometrics:

It is a known fact that the biometric devices are non-cancellable. Suppose a person meets an accident and his finger is damaged. It's always advisable to scan two fingers while using finger biometrics. Another reason is the exploitation of data or confidentiality concern of users. It is also expensive.

Question 4

In bio-metric authentication, false positive and false negative rates can be tuned according to the requirement, and they are often complementary i.e. raising one lowers the other. Describe two circumstances where false negatives are significantly more serious than false positives.

Answer 4- False positives: In a case where a wrong person who is not authorised gets successful access to a biometric then such a situation is called false positive.
False negatives: In a case where the rightful person who is actually authorized is unable to access the system is known as false negatives.
False negatives can be more serious in many cases then false positives.
Two conditions are as follows:
Suppose an individual is responsible for the servers which hold certain data that is needed immediately, then in such cases, false negatives may result into loss of business.
Another situation is if any individual is stuck due to certain circumstances in some place and is unable to come out of it due to false negative then it may result in something serious for him.

Question 5

Transposition is one known method of encrypting the text. What can be one way that a piece of cipher text can be determined quickly if it was likely a result of a transposition? Utilising some of the decryption techniques (substitution and others) covered in the subject so far, you are required to decipher (find the plain text) the cipher text that will be provided to you closer to the assessment due date via the subject site. In order to present your solution, you need to demonstrate and explain the steps taken to decipher this text.

Answer 5- In order to decode the cipher in the given scenario:
Simple matrix transposition ciphers:
The first step required would be to count the letters of the cipher text
Thereafter there is a need to generate all the probable matrices conforming to the length of the cipher text. Two matrices must be created for every size.
The cipher should be written in row and column for every matrix size.
Check if anything sensible is found by reading perpendicular to how the cipher text were put in.
Column-scrambled matrix:
All possible matrices should be noted relating to the cipher text.
In the case of columns we need to note all possible permutations.
We need to see if we can find anything meaningful while arranging the matrices. After that, we need to eexplicate the text off in the form of row-by-row.


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