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Assignment Briefs 05-21-2023

LO3: Demonstrate the use of some complex penetration testing and active defence tools

Postgraduate Programmes Assignment Specification

Faculty of Science and Engineering Department of Computer Science

Module No


Module Title

Penetration Testing and Active Defence

Academic Year


Assessment No

Component 2 (30%)

Submission Date

Feedback due by

Assignment Title


Learning Objectives Assessed

LO3: Demonstrate the use of some complex penetration testing and active defence tools

LO6: Discuss the need for and uses of active defence

LO7: Critically evaluate and analyse active defence techniques

Submission Information

The final submission shall be 1400 words (with ± 10% flexibility) report of all exercises, submitted as a Word or PDF document to Moodle via a submission link on the CO7607 Moodle page. 5 marks penalty per 1000 words excess will apply – e.g., if a 1000-word assignment, 5 marks deducted for 1101-2100 words).






Assignment Brief

This assessment is to test your general knowledge of active defence and hands-on understanding of relevant offensive countermeasures tools.

1. Offensive Countermeasures (OCM) and Tools

OCM generally helps us to defend ourselves against attackers and in the process, enables us to get a better understanding of who is attacking us and why. The general categories of OCM are Annoyance, Attribution and Attack.

Briefly research and explain, in your own words, each of these three OCM categories. Your discussion should include explanation of the category, its goal and how it can be accomplished. You may use examples. [10 marks]

Demonstrate the use of any three OCM tools, one for each OCM category. For each tool, identify

the OCM category it belongs to. Explain the tool, what it is used for, how it can be used in a particular

case example scenario and then demonstrate its use. Set up and use any two virtual machines

(VMs) in which one plays the role of a target and the other plays the role of the attacker. Configure

and execute the tool as required. Use relevant screenshots, from both VMs, to document and explain

the exercise.


Note that while you can easily grab and use screenshots from online, it is totally unacceptable and would be in breach of the academic integrity policy – DO NOT do that. What is most important here is clearly showing your understanding of how these tools work and scenarios where they can be used. Unexplained screenshots will attract little or no marks. It is not sufficient to dump screenshots without adequately explaining them to show understanding of what is going on. Your work MUST provide evidence that you have run the tools yourself, as opposed to having taken images from another sources. Where relevant, you must change your terminal prompt to include your J number in the host name. [60 marks]

2. OCM General

OCM, especially the idea of hack back or self-defence in cyber security, has been a very controversial concept. There are legal challenges on one hand and moral argument on the other. There are those who say that we should not hack back under any circumstances while others believe that we need to take some sort of actions against the attacker if we must have upper hand in the fight.

Research and discuss the current UK legislation or legal status relating to OCM. Your discussion should cover the following:

  • Whether there is/are any existing specific legislation
  • What you think is the general view on how the law on self-defence in cyberspace should be designed [30 marks]

NOTE: You must use proper APA referencing to acknowledge all your sources. The nature of this assessment means that you will be conducting brief research and using/adapting existing tools and materials. You are advised to present points in your own words/understanding and then reference as relevant.

General Instructions

  • Format: The format should be one column, left or justified alignment, have appropriate and meaningful headings/sections. Use a meaningful structure that ensures coherency.
  • Referencing: Do not just give a list of references without showing where/how you have used them in the text – ensure you include in-text referencing. See the citethemright referencing tutorial for a guide – login with your university account. We use APA 7th edition.
  • Support: If you use external support, e.g., for proofreading or translation, you MUST state this. The tutor will provide adequate support to ensure that all students are very clear of what is expected of them in this assessment. So, ensure you take this opportunity to get clarifications where you need them.
  • Coverage: You are expected to address ALL aspects as identified in this brief. LO3: Demonstrate the use of some complex penetration testing and active defence tools
  • Originality: It is acceptable to use direct quotes from sources. However, excessive use of direct quotes (regardless of whether they are referenced or not) reduces the originality of the work. This and high level of similarity will affect the student’s mark.
  • Viva may be necessary to “test the student’s knowledge of the work that has been submitted”. Where this happens, it is a continuation of the assessment.

Assessment Criteria

Marks will be affected if the above instructions are not adhered to. As stated above, specific marks are allocated to questions and the level of marks awarded will depend on the depth and quality of answers. Characteristics of Distinction and Pass level answers are distinguished as below:

Distinction marks will be awarded for:

  • Demonstrating in-depth knowledge of the skills tested
  • Coverage – attempting and getting most or all of the tasks correct
  • Showing excellent knowledge of the topic area
  • Excellent command, understanding, and usage of relevant tools
  • A very sophisticated critical reflection, self-evaluation and new insights informing practical situations.
  • Proper use of referencing

Pass marks will be awarded for:

  • Demonstrating extensive knowledge of the skills tested
  • Coverage – attempting and getting most of the tasks correct
  • Showing good knowledge of the topic area
  • Sound command, understanding, and usage of relevant tools
  • A sound critical reflection, self-evaluation and some new insights informing practical situations
  • Proper use of referencing
  • LO3: Demonstrate the use of some complex penetration testing and active defence tools

Answers that fall below the above criteria will receive a fail mark.

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