Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Information Security at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

The International Fund for Animal Welfare is the world's leading international animal welfare organization. The small nonprofit organization contends that ''the fate and future of all animal on Earth are inextricably linked to mankind''. IFAW has approximately 375 experienced campaigners, legal and political experts, and internationally acclaimed scientists working from offices in 15 countries. The organization targets everything from baby seal hunts in Canada to the illegal trade in elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns in Africa.

IFAW has three characteristics that impact the organization's information security. First, as an extremely dispersed organization, IFAW must deal with information security on a large international scale. Second, IFAW's mobile users carry laptops that must be protected for use outside IFAW's network yet remain safe enough to return to the network without causing damage when the user returns from trips out in the field. Third, IFAW is controversial force in conservation and therefore finds itself targeted by individuals, organizations, and even goverments that object to the organization's activities.

please save this animal ! :"(

In one instance, during the Canadian baby seal hunt, IFAW experienced probing attacks against its users' laptops when they attended the watch observation mission on Prince Edward Island. In other case, IFAW encountered denial-of-service attacks from dozens of Japanese servers because IFAW operatives were performing DNA analysis of whale meat found in a Tokyo fishmonger's shop in support of the organization's antiwhaling position. IFAW has also been targeted by custom-built malicious software designed to attack the organization. The malware was delivered from some governments specifically for the purpose of spying on IFAW's operations. 

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