March 18, 2014, 9:45am: Offices of HackStop Consulting
A quiet morning for you until a call from a company called BCX reaches your desk.
As a Senior IT Security Consultant at HackStop Consulting, you’ve had calls like this many times. It’s
time to get your game on again! Time to visit the offices of BCX. Their CEO, CTO and a Manager
from their hosting provider HotHost1 are desperate to meet with you.
On return from your meeting, it’s time to quickly put together a proposed plan of work and a response
for BCX. Given the nature of your assignment with BCX, an urgent response and work-plan is
required that outlines your approach and methodologies to:
(1) Assessing what could go wrong – how could someone (a hacker?) compromise the BCX
environment and steal the user bitcoins?
(2) How does BCX ensure it does not happen?
At present, no other assumptions need to be made about the actual security issues/breach at Mt Box
but an understanding of how it could have happened will assist with the assignment.
Read about the real Mt Gox episode and the history of bitcoin and other bitcoin security issues of the
past few years. (Google is your best friend).
This assignment is focused upon seeing if you, the student has built up an awareness of how security
in Internet Websites can be assessed and analysed to assist businesses in improving their overall
security position. !
By being able to outline how you would go about reviewing the security requirements outlined in the
BCX case study and making recommendations on improving security practices and the appropriate
controls that need to be put place to reduce the risks to an acceptable level for BCX, the markers will
be able to assess your level of knowledge learned in this course and the additional research you have
Any information not provided in the case study may be assumed, but make sure that your
assumptions are stated and that the assumptions are plausible.
**** NB; Importantly and in addition to your own study and research, there will be two specific
discussion forum threads on the assignment discussion forum where you can ask questions of the
main players in the scenario:
Mark Buck and/or Peter Gates (BCX)
Phil Jones (HotHost1)
By actively participating in the forum discussions for this assignment, you will gain valuable
information and insight into this case study that will be regarded highly by the markers.
(Note: Any questions which are not considered to be appropriate or professional for the purpose of
this assessment may not be answered)
The success of your engagement is based upon two deliverables:
(1) Development of security audit plan to assess how you would determine BCX’s security posture at
the present time.
(2) A business proposal to BCX Management in the form of a presentation (based on your proposed
security audit plan – Deliverable 1) that outlines how the organisation should be better focusing on
(1) Security Audit Work-plan (WORD Document):
The Security Audit work plan should be included in a professionally presented document of no more
than 10 pages and be structured to show how each phase of work is to be undertaken. Your work-plan
must include the following at a minimum:
* Executive Summary: half-page brief outlining purpose; scope, expectations and outcomes of
the proposed plan of work. (250 words)
Structured and ordered work plan phase description, which for each section includes:
* Background and problem analysis – What could go wrong? How could a hacker
compromise the BCX web site environment and steal the user information ? (approx. 500 words)
* Threat analysis – What is to be investigated and tested, how it will be done, what sort of
potential issues you are looking for, and deliverables BCX and/or HotHost1 can expect for each phase
of work – (eg; the “deliverable” for the phase of work could potentially be a report containing the
results of a vulnerability assessment test on BCX’s server(s)). (approx. 1000 words)
* Dependencies and critical success factors to the job – such as key stakeholders in this
security audit – the key people to be interviewed or whose involvement in that phase of work is
required. (Remember, you don’t always get free-rein access to systems and other information and
because time is of importance, you won’t get a long time to master the environment. But, as you
know, you cannot also always believe everything you are told). What is key to getting this job done
efficiently and what support do you need to get this done, (from BCX and also the hosting provider).
(approx. 500 words)
* Set of recommendations for improving BCX’s current security practices and ensuring that an
appropriate set of controls are put in place (approx. 750 words)
* Reference list of key sources in particular technical references which support your approach
(Not counted in word count)
Note in this report and in the accompanying presentation you are encouraged to make
use of appropriate Figures and Tables to emphasise the key points that you are trying
* A journal of each team member’s (for students completing this assignment individually –
your) activities in participating and contributing to the completion of the work plan report and
(2) Developing a Securer Environment for BCX for the Future (POWERPOINT): !
Your strategy presentation should be created as if it were an actual presentation you were doing for a
real client in relation to your proposed work plan including a set of recommendations and should
contain the following at a minimum:
* 1 Slide for an Introduction outlining your team and the organisation you work for
* 2-3 Slides covering the Background: A brief summary of where BCX is today in regards to
security practices in their organisation and controls in place for their web servers.
* 2-3 Slides covering the Threat Analysis: A summary of the major threats and associated
vulnerabilities and the actions required to reduce the risks associated with these threats and specific
vulnerabilities in their web servers to an acceptable level.
* 2 Slides covering Dependencies and critical success factors to the job: i.e. what is key to
getting this job done efficiently and what support do you need to get this done, (e.g. internal business
stakeholders, developers etc.)
* 2 Slides covering your proposed Set of recommendations for improving security practices at
BCX and ensuring appropriate controls are in place in relation to their web site which is core to their
[The following is also to be included. While not part of a “standard” Industry business presentation, it
is there to allow teaching staff to gauge what level of research has been undertaken].
* 1 Slide acknowledging the key authoritative reference sources which underpin the research
you have conducted and your approach in the proposed work plan in your proposed business
Report and Presentation Format:
* MS WORD and PowerPoint respectively (or a web-based presentation as an alternative to
PowerPoint for (2) of the assignment deliverables) must be used. NB; For the presentation, you are
asked to include a Word document (or utilise the notes section of PowerPoint) to detail the length of
time expected to be spent on each slide (page) and the details of what you would expect to discuss
with the audience.
* This assignment is focused upon seeing if as a student in this course you have built up an
awareness of how security in an environment should be set up and operated. By being able to outline
how you would review and test the security of the fictional organisation, BCX, through assessment of
the basics such as good policies, standards, procedures and controls in place, in addition to detection
of incidents, the markers will be able to assess your level of knowledge learned from the course
content and from your own additional research in relation to this case study
I have a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English and minoring in History.
I have worked in various fields ranging from academic research to freelance translating to editing to customer support and data entry. These include editing my old university's newspaper as well as co-leading their creative writing team; serving as a junior member in the history department's research network; publishing music and film reviews for several different magazines and webzines; and translating papers and books for numerous researchers in various languages, including Russian, Spanish, and Romanian. I am also a skilled typist, with a rate of at least 70 words per minute, and have myself digitized dozens of books and essays for both private and commercial use.
I have a very strong work ethic, and make sure to prioritize the task I am given so that it is completed as quickly as possible. I am organized and disciplined, ensuring a job done professionally and efficiently.
I have a background of 8 years in writing profession and currently pursuing also as an editor and proofreader. I have a knack for writing and thus, it was obvious to enhance my skills and serve others. Currently joined ‘Member of Association of Professional Writers and Editors’ a