"Forty-three percent of the participants tried to access someone else’s account without their knowledge and 13 percent did it for malevolent reasons."

Personal Denial of Service Attack: What You Need to Know

By Abdoul Amadou on May 25, 2018
Prof. Bartolacci The importance of education is undeniable. In today’s globalized world, there is a minimum level of education that is required for anyone who wants to be competitive and successful by today's standards. Choosing a field of study, however, can be a daunting task. While some people know what they want to do at a very early age, others struggle to determine what career field would be suitable for them. Whatever the field of study, however, one has to make sure that what they end up doing is fulfilling and meaningful.

With a B.A. in Engineering, an MBA, and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering, IGI Global Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Michael Bartolacci from Pennsylvania State University-Berks, USA, editor of 13 books and journals from IGI Global, is the perfect definition of an interdisciplinary researcher, or someone who can rightfully be considered as a renaissance man. His research covers areas ranging from telecommunications to supply chain management. Inspired by his father, who was an electronics technician and a radio and television repairer in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Dr. Bartolacci learned how to operate ham radios, which were the main way of communication before the advent of the telephone, how to mount and dismount AM radios, and how to decode Morse Code when he was in the seventh grade. As young as he was, he understood the importance of telecommunications, and that understanding led him to be the scholar he is today.

Furthermore, Dr. Bartolacci is interested in information security. More specifically, he has been studying the prevalence of the phenomenon called “personal denial of service attack”. Unlike the traditional denial of service attack, which is a malicious attack that overloads a computer network or server with garbage data until it crashes, personal denial of service attack, just like the name indicates, is directed against a person.

“Let’s say you’re in the cubicle next to mine, and I can’t stand your guts because you got promoted over me. Glancing over once in a while, I notice that you always do your banking during lunch time or at the end of the month I see you paying your bills online. If I can just see what your bank ID is, I don’t need to know your password to get you locked out by trying to log in three times using a bogus password. Then, I go on and the same thing with your Gmail and Facebook accounts and lock you out . . .” hypothesizes Dr. Bartolacci.

This type of attack doesn’t require an extensive knowledge of computers or the internet, and it’s not even considered as crime in most countries. Although personal denial of service attack is not considered as cyberbullying or a serious security problem, research shows that it is prevalent. Dr. Bartolacci and some of his colleagues surveyed a pool of hundreds of students from Penn State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Dakota State University. The results showed that “43 percent of the participants tried to access someone else’s account without their knowledge and 13 percent did it for malevolent reasons.”

On the other hand, as the occurrence of natural disasters is becoming more and more common, another area of research that Dr. Bartolacci is delving into is the improvement and optimization of wireless networks as they pertain to emergency management and response. “Basically, if you have extra money, you can harden your network and make it more tolerant to things like high winds [by] maybe [putting] in extra batteries in case the power goes down”, and it doesn’t matter if the problem has been caused by hackers or mother nature herself. In other words, his research allowed him to develop a model that makes it possible to identify the weaknesses of a wireless network and determine the best course of action to address them.

With all the technological advances that are coming through, it would be safe to say that the communication and telecommunication landscape has changed in a substantial way from the time Dr. Bartolacci was operating ham radios to today. One major innovation that is worth mentioning is the Internet of Things (IoT), a system that allows machines, objects, animals, or people to transfer data over a network without requiring human to human or human to computer interaction. But of course, just with most technologies, IoT presents security and privacy challenges. An important question that Dr. Bartolacci poses is “how much information do [people] want collected?"

Dr. Bartolacci also talks about the emerging technology known as LTE Direct, which would allow someone whose cellphone is out of coverage area to use another person’s cellphone as a relay point between the first person’s phone and cell towers. In other words, someone with a good reception on their phone would be able to share it with someone whose reception is not good and allow them to make and receive calls.

Overall, these are just some of the current and emerging research trends that Dr. Bartolacci is observing, and he intends to actively take part in the development and concretization of many of these trends through his various research endeavors and the editorship of his IGI Global journal, International Journal of Interdisciplinary Telecommunications and Networking (IJITN).
IGI Global is grateful for the opportunity to work with Dr. Michael Bartolacci and we would like to thank him and his co-Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Steven R. Powell form the California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, USA, for helping IGI Global cultivate and disseminate emerging concepts and theories in Information Technology, Telecommunications, and Security.

Their journal is featured as a part of IGI Global’s award-winning InfoSci-Journals database, a collection of 175+ journals with over one million citation rates. This database is now being offered for an annual subscription price for new customers as low as US$ 4,950. All journals are indexed in prestigious indices such as Web of Science, Scopus, and Ei Compendex, and cover 11 core subjects including business, computer science, education, social science and humanities.

For libraries that invest in this database, all IGI Global Open Access fees will be waived for researchers within their institution, so be sure to recommend this database for your library!

For more information please check out IJITN, along with the following related publications:

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