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Assessment: Laboratory Work
Weighting: 20% (marked out of 100 marks, averaged to 20 marks) of the final mark of the unit.
Word count: This assessment should be formatted as a report; however, your responses will be primarily based on providing screenshots as evidence of your own work. Therefore, unlike typical academic reports, a specific word count is not specified. You should not submit an ECU cover sheet with the assignment.
Before you read the assignment instructions, please complete the following:
1. Watch the 4 x academic integrity videos from the Associate Dean Teaching and Learning (ADTL), School of Science. (Available under Assignments> Academic Integrity – IMPORTANT).
2. Read the information and watch the video related to Turnitin. (Available under Assignments> Important information about your assignment and Turnitin).
3. Review the exemplars provided, which should enable you to understand better how response could be structured. Note: you cannot use any of the content from the exemplar(s). Your submission should be your own incorporating your own perspective and creative aspect. Copying content and ideas from the exemplar(s) would be considered academic misconduct and would lead to a serious penalty.
4. Read and ensure you understand the rubrics available under ‘My Grades’ on Blackboard (available under Assignments> Assessment 2: Lab Work 2> Marking Rubric).
This assessment requires you to discover vulnerabilities and mitigate consequent risks through hardening a network server through appropriate security measures.
Web servers allow organizations to host websites or web services either through external hosting providers or internally on their own infrastructure. Consider an organization that is hosting a web server in its own infrastructure.
For the purpose of this assessment, consider the following assumptions:
- The web server is public-facing to enable Internet users to directly access the hosted website. It has its own public IP address. You do not need to allocate a public IP address during this assessment. You may set the network adapter of the virtual machine in Bridged mode or NAT mode.
- The web server is running a basic installation of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Desktop edition.
- Since the basic OS installation, no additional security measures have been taken.
- The web server application is NGINX available through the standard Ubuntu software repository (i.e. using apt).
- The web server has remote access enabled using OpenSSH, installed through the standard repository of Ubuntu (i.e. using apt).
1. Create a virtual machine to be used as the webserver. You may use VMWare or VirtualBox for this task. If you intend to use something else, please contact the lecturer first for approval. The guest operating system for the VM should be Ubuntu Desktop 18.04.4 LTS. You may leave the VM’s network adapter in Bridged or NAT mode.
2. Install NGINX using the standard Ubuntu software repositories, i.e. using apt or apt-get. You do not need to create any websites. The standard webpage that is provided in the standard installation is sufficient for the purpose of this assessment.
3. Install OpenSSH using the standard Ubuntu software repositories, i.e. using apt or apt-get.
4. Harden and secure the webserver to ensure it is secured to serve its purpose. Specific areas of focus could be the following:
a. Web server application (NGINX)
b. Remote access (OpenSSH)
c. Firewall (on the server itself)
d. Other measures
Note: For all the above tasks, you should provide detailed steps, explanations, and adequate
annotation in screenshots (i.e. evidence of your own work) to demonstrate the tasks you have
1. Ensure you have VMware/VirtualBox installed and properly functioning. Following this, if you are unfamiliar with these tools to create VMs, you should watch the video titled “Pre-lab Ubuntu Installation” (available under Assignments> Assessment 2: Lab Work 2> Example Guide). This video will give you an overview of creating two VMs using Ubuntu and ensure connectivity between them.
2. A general guide that will get you started is available under the Example Guides section (available under Assignments> Assessment 2: Lab Work 2> Example Guides. These guides should be used as examples; however, you are required to do research on your own as required to complete the assessment tasks.
3. The report should be written in a manner that would be appropriate for someone with very little/or no understanding of cybersecurity (novice end-users). As a result, you must ensure that you communicate your report outcomes clearly and in detail.
4. In order to demonstrate evidence of your own work, you will be relying heavily on providing screenshots. Any screenshots/figures used should be annotated as required, and fully described in your own words. A series of screenshots without annotation or description may result in loss of marks. Examples of providing good screenshots have been provided (available under Assignments> Assessment 2: Lab Work 2> Example Evidence).
5. You must make use of adequate in-text references, where required, to support your ideas and discussion throughout your entire report. It is recommended that you use EndNote to manage your sources and for your reference. The referencing format expected is APA 6th or APA 7th. For further information on referencing and EndNote, refer to the Library Links in Blackboard.
Required Report Structure:
1. Start early and plan ahead. You will be required to read the given situation multiple times and engage with and apply weekly concepts covered in class. This approach will ensure the correct identification of the security issues at the company and enable you to find appropriate solutions.
2. Carefully read the marking rubric. You should consider these descriptors as you will be evaluated against them. If in doubt about any of these, you should ask your lecturer or tutor before the submission deadline.
3. The report must use an appropriate structure with clear, concise headings, and ideas must flow logically.
4. The style of writing should be appropriate for purpose and audience, including third-person objective voice i.e. avoid the use of first-person (‘I’, ‘my’, ‘we’) and second (‘you’) person.
5. Appropriate discipline-specific terminology and vocabulary must be used in the report.
6. Sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, and grammar should be correct for the report.
Deliverable: A single Microsoft Word Document uploaded through Turnitin. ECU Assignment Cover Sheet (the yellow form) must NOT be included in the submission.
Referencing, Plagiarism, and Collusion:
The entirety of your assignment must be your own work (unless the ideas are taken from sources, in which case you must reference) and produced for the current instance of the unit. Any use of unreferenced content you did not create constitutes plagiarism and is deemed an act of academic misconduct. All assignments will be submitted to Turnitin which will match your assignment to sources including previous copies of the assignment, and the work submitted by all other students in the unit. It is also important to understand that if you have attempted this unit before you may not re-use your previous assessment work or related work from any other unit you have studied
previously as this is classified as self-plagiarism.
Remember that this is an individual assignment. Never give anyone any part of your assignment – even after the due date or after results have been released. Do not work together with other students on individual assignments – helping someone by explaining a concept or directing them to the
relevant resources is fine, but doing the assignment for them or alongside them, or showing them your work is not appropriate. An unacceptable level of cooperation between students on an assignment is collusion and is deemed an act of academic misconduct. If you are uncertain about plagiarism, collusion, or referencing, simply contact your learning adviser and seek support. You may be asked to explain and demonstrate your understanding of the work you have submitted. Your submission should accurately reflect your understanding and ability to apply the unit content.