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Report Incidents/How to fill out the Incident Report Form


  1. What is a security incident
  2. Types of incidents defined by Cert.org
  3. What we need to know
  4. What to report
  5. What is the procedure
  6. Disclosure of information policy

What is a security incident

  • Loss of confidentiality of information
  • Compromise of integrity of information
  • Denial of service
  • Misuse of service, systems or information
  • Damage to systems

Types of Incidents defined by Cert.org
There are various types of incidents that according to CERT.org, are classified the following way:
A probe is characterized by unusual attempts to gain access to a system or to discover information about the system. One example is an attempt to log in to an unused account. Probing is the electronic equivalent of testing doorknobs to find an unlocked door for easy entry. Probes are sometimes followed by a more serious security event, but they are often the result of curiosity or confusion.

A scan is simply a large number of probes done using an automated tool. Scans can sometimes be the result of a misconfiguration or other error, but they are often a prelude to a more directed attack on systems that the intruder has found to be vulnerable.

Account Compromise
An account compromise is the unauthorized use of a computer account by someone other than the account owner, without involving system-level or root-level privileges
(privileges a system administrator or network manager has). An account compromise might expose the victim to serious data loss, data theft, or theft of services.
The lack of root-level access means that the damage can usually be contained,
but a user-level account is often an entry point for greater access to the system.

Root Compromise
A root compromise is similar to an account compromise, except that the account
that has been compromised has special privileges on the system. The term root is derived from an account on UNIX systems that typically has unlimited, or "superuser", privileges. Intruders who succeed in a root compromise can do just about anything on the victim's system, including run their own programs, change how the system works, and hide traces of their intrusion.

Packet Sniffer
A packet sniffer is a program that captures data from information packets as they travel over the network. That data may include user names, passwords, and proprietary information that travels over the network in clear text. With perhaps hundreds
or thousands of passwords captured by the sniffer, intruders can launch widespread attacks on systems. Installing a packet sniffer does not necessarily require privileged access. For most multi-user systems, however, the presence of a packet sniffer implies there has been a root compromise.

Denial of Service
The goal of denial-of-service attacks is not to gain unauthorized access to machines
or data, but to prevent legitimate users of a service from using it. A denial-of-service attack can come in many forms. Attackers may "flood" a network with large volumes
of data or deliberately consume a scarce or limited resource, such as process control blocks or pending network connections. They may also disrupt physical components
of the network or manipulate data in transit, including encrypted data.

Exploitation of Trust
Computers on networks often have trust relationships with one another. For example, before executing some commands, the computer checks a set of files that specify which other computers on the network are permitted to use those commands. If attackers can forge their identity, appearing to be using the trusted computer, they may be able to gain unauthorized access to other computers.

Malicious Code
Malicious code is a general term for programs that, when executed, would cause undesired results on a system. Users of the system usually are not aware of the program until they discover the damage. Malicious code includes Trojan horses, viruses,
and worms. Trojan horses and viruses are usually hidden in legitimate programs or files that attackers have altered to do more than what is expected. Worms are self-replicating programs that spread with no human intervention after they are started. Viruses are also self-replicating programs, but usually require some action on the part of the user
to spread inadvertently to other programs or systems. These sorts of programs can lead to serious data loss, downtime, denial of service, and other types of security incidents.

Internet Infrastructure Attacks
These rare but serious attacks involve key components of the Internet infrastructure rather than specific systems on the Internet. Examples are network name servers, network access providers, and large archive sites on which many users depend. Widespread automated attacks can also threaten the infrastructure. Infrastructure attacks affect a large portion of the Internet and can seriously hinder the day-to-day operation
of many sites.

What we need to know
When you fill out the Incident Report Form, it is important that you make sure you include all the information you have available for us to understand and respond to it properly.
The form will help you find the answers to all the questions that will enable us to provide you with the best assistance.

What to report
FORTH Cert is at your service in information security matters. We are interested in reports on deliberate illegal acts to harm computer systems and networks.
We encourage you to report any activities that you feel meet the following criteria for being an incident.
1. attempts (either failed or successful) to gain unauthorised access to a system
2. unwanted disruption or denial of service
3. the unauthorised use of a system for the processing or storage of data
4. changes to system hardware, firmware, or software characteristics without the owner's knowledge, instruction, or consent
5. loss, theft, missing
6. website defacement
7. attacks or attempts of attack against the Internet infrastructure, such as name services and the backbone.

What is the procedure
When you have something to report, you fill out the Incident Report Form with as much information as you can. If the incident is of high importance and critical infrastructures
are at stake, you can always contact us either by phone, fax, or email which you can find here
When we receive the report, you will be sent an automated acknowledgement that
your message has been sent to our team together with a ticketing number for any further correspondence.
We then delegate to the expert that deals with specific incidents and we send you another email giving you his/her contact details.
After that, he/she will contact you to take matters forward and assist you with your case.
Once a case is resolved it will be put into our cases archive.

Disclosure of information policy
FORTH Cert will not release any information about the site's involvement in an incident, without the site's explicit permission to do so. While this policy ensures that you
can report your incident in privacy, it also means that we cannot put you in contact with other sites involved in the incident.

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