Computers are my preferred domain since very young age. I am in touch with computer since I was in 6th grade and was quite fascinated with computers as I learn to play with BASIC, LOGO, DOS and Paint brush. In 8th grade I won internet quiz at interclass level and reached till interschool level. It was then I realized that I could go ahead and make my career in computers. I started working with computers trying out AUTOCADE, Coral Draw, MS-Access, FoxPro and windows 3.1, which was too much for 8th or 9th grade student in the developing country like INDIA where one will be overwhelmed on having a glimpse of computer. The extraordinary developments in this field, both in the hardware and especially, in the software area, have further stimulated my interest and have encouraged me to choose the Computer Engineering as the main field of my university study. So Computer Engineering was an obvious choice for me after High school.

I enrolled Computer Engineering department inL.D.Collegeof Engineering affiliated toGujaratUniversitywhich is one of the topmost and oldest colleges inGujarat. I deeply concentrated on building a strong foundation in the various areas of computer engineering, which helped me to get mature as an engineer. Now I am quite fluent with computer languages such as c/c++, Java, VB and I am currently working on c# and .net technologies in internship.

My undergraduate studies require me to undertake a wide range of project and seminars. One of my great achievement was when I participated in a national level competition INVITE coordinated by GIL-Gujarat Informatics Limited and IBM. I develop a MISS-Management Information System for Promoting and Nurturing Sports for the competition and got certificate for the same. This project aimed at handling various scholarship schemes of Sports Authority of India. We provided a complete handy interface and powerful system for handling schemes and printing reports. My other project works are Revised DOS using c/c++, Online merit list generation using java-servlet and MS-Access, Online college Admission using ASP, Medical store management using VB and MS SQL server and online results onMobileusing WML.

(Please see attached Resume for Details of Project Work)

Artificial intelligence has been my area of interest since start of my career in Computers. I gave seminars on Human Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence. I also developed minor projects like Artificial Chat and Othello v/s Computer to support my thesis in my seminars. I also presented a white paper on Computer Vision as a part of my undergraduate curriculum. All these work strengthen my foundation in artificial intelligence. My current goal is to continue my work leading to a good research.

Apart from academics I have actively participated in extra-curricular activities. I was member of computer society of India (CSI) and actively participating in activities of CSI. I won technical quiz organized by CSI Ahmedabad Chapter. I was member of the winning team of Quiz on IBM Tools sponsored by IBM. Along with quiz completions I also participated in Open Software Competition in LAA TEQNIX a national level cultural festival. Two consecutive years I took part in LAA TEQNIX, though I was not able to win I was always among the top competitors.

In the beginning of my final year I have got a job offer from Cognizant Technology Solutions a leading MNC through campus interview. However my career goals have led me to draw conclusion that it is better to get understanding of my field of interest and indulge myself in research. I look forward for research work in Artificial Intelligence during my MS and then follow it to PHD. However for my MS degree I remain open to other topics as well.

My goal is to make a career in Research and have satisfaction of being at the forefront of ever growing field. To ensure that I have right start in this direction I need technical skills which a US graduate education would provide which is hard to get in India due to lack of funds and resources. Your university offers a program in MS which is a perfect blend of theory and research work. Researching your university on website I discovered that I will get unique opportunity for learning and self growth that your University will provide. Being brought up in Ahmedabad, a virtual capital ofGujarat, and educated throughout in English medium it is my belief that with my knowledge and experiences I too can contribute to class activity and enrich vibrant culture of Southern Illinois University. It would be great honor and a chance of a lifetime for me if I could complete my degree at Southern Illinois University.


In conclusion, I feel the graduate study at your University will be the most logical continuation of my future goals. It therefore will be my prerogative to secure an admission in your University with possible financial assistance. I am certain that I will match the high standards set by your university.


Purvag G Patel        

(Applicant-Computer science)

                                           (Fall 2007)

Sample USA Visa Interview Questions

I prepared this list when I applied for Visa interview in 2007.  This might help new students applying for visa. I was going for Southern Illinois University; customize per your requirements. Such question does make a lot of difference, I was asked few of the questions for this list. Make sure you are well prepared and be confident. It is alright to look into interviewers eyes and talk. Best Luck.

1. Why the specified university (Why SIUC)?

  • My major of study is computer science and particularly computer graphics and Artificial intelligent. So I looked for the university which provided me a right blend of both and computer science department of SIUC fit in to my criteria.
  • About SIUC – Founded in 1869 – Southern Illinois University Carbondale ranks amongIllinois most comprehensive public universities.
  • Other major criterion for selecting the college is that they offer wide range of courses and I felt that they help in both practical and research field.
  • The Department of Computer Science has extensive facilities for instructional and research use at its disposal with support of good computing facilities, graphics lab and other labs.
  • Plus work of following professor impressed me and I am keen to work with them

    Carver, Norman F., III, Associate Professor

    Ph.D., Computer Science,U.of Massachusetts, 1990

Current Research Interests: Multi-agent systems, sensor interpretation, knowledge-intensive control of AI    systems.

   Hexmoor, Henry , Assistant Professor 

Ph.D., Computer Science, University at Buffalo, 1996

Current Research Interests: Artificial intelligence, multi-agent systems, cognitive science, mobile robotics, knowledge representation and reasoning.

 2.    Which universities did you applied?

  • I applied in six universities got acceptance in 5 and there is only one reject fromFloridaStateUniversityand acceptance from
    • Illinois Institute of Technology
    • SouthernIllinoisUniversity
    • KentStateUniversity
    • UniversityofGeorgia
    • MississippiStateUniversity

3.    Why Reject from FSU?

They might have found my GRE score not what they required. They have mentioned on the website their they needed score above 1100 but I still applied in there.

4.    Why do you think you got Acceptance in these universities?

  • I felt that what might have impressed them is my statement of purpose which reflected I was quite clear in my interest for specialization AI and graphics.
  • Then other factor might be my project work which I have carried out during my under-graduate studies which got reflected in recommendation letters from the faculty and through my CV.

5.    What is your GRE score?

  • Its 1080. (If he asks for the copy). Sure Sir here it is.

6.    Where do you undergraduate form?

I am currently in final semester of B.E. Computer Engineering from L.D.Collegeof engineering which is affiliated to GujaratUniversityand it is ranked among top colleges in Gujarat. I gave final semester exam on 2nd of this month.

7.    Who is sponsoring you?

  • My parents

8.    What does your father do?

  • My father is currently working in PWD (Public works department) – Gov. of Gujaratat the post of under secretary at Sachivalay in Gandhinagar. He’s a ME gold medalist – civil engineer from MS University.

9.    What is your father’s income?

  • My father’s annual income is about ** lacs which he draws from his salary and other investments.

10. How many siblings do you have?

I have only one 6 years younger brother.

11. Do you have any relatives in USA?

No sir.

12. What is your family’s income?

My family’s annual income is about ** lacs


  • My father’s annual income is ** lacs
  • He draws salary of ** lacs
  • Through his saving and investments with a modest return of 8% and also GPF he earns ** lacs


  • My mother’s annual income is ** lacs
  • She has got annual income of about ** lac from agriculture
  • And remaining income of about ** lacs from the investments and PPF

13. Why don’t you do this course in your country?

  • Their are too few post graduate institute in Indiaand that too they don’t offer wide variety of courses and flexibility as American universities do.
  • Plus US universities offer a better public research in AI and GRAPICS and got world wide reputation which I could not find in here.
  • Exposure to the foreign culture and leaving there will help me develop my personality and studying there will add value to my career.

14. What will you after completing MS?

  • IT sector in Indiais growing at a rapid pace in Indiaand there will be shortage of skilled worker in India.
  • So after coming back to India with my MS degree which will increase my professional values I see no problem in getting jobs in one of the MNC like TCS, wipro, Cognizant, infosys, wipro, etc .

15.  Why study in USA?

  • I think that studying in USAwill add value to my career. I believe this because USAhas
    • world class learning institutes
    • wide variety of study choices
    • worldwide recognition
    • very good training & research supported by industries

 16.  Do you have scholarship?

No sir , I don’t have one right now.  But I am going to try to get one like teaching or research assistance ship will help me become better in my field.

17.  what is your undergraduate percentage?

Sir, its 63% avg. of last seven semesters.

18.  How will you pay 2 years fees?

Considering the fee of $15000 and other expenditure of $8500 i.e. total of $23500 per year and that’s make up $47000.  We have got liquid funds of around**** $ as bank balance, LIC surrender value, father & mother PPF and stocks holding values to cover up the fees of other expenditure that will be occurring during the visit for two years.

19.  Tell me how can u prove that you are going to come back?

I have mainly two reasons.

  • Indian Software Industry: Indian industries are on rice like never before. According to leading report there will be demand of 4.7 lacs trained I.T. Professionals per year and this will make companies offer the highest packages.
  • My family: I strongly believe in Indian culture and I would like to live with my family and friends inIndia.

20.  Have you got any job?

I am a fresher, so I don’t have any job right now. But in campus interview I did have an offer of job from Cognizant Tech. But my goal is to pursue MS degree so I will not be accepting the offer.

21.  Have you ever been to US?


 22.  Do you know anyone in your university ?

Ms. Georgia L. Marine Norman
Chair’s Assistant, Graduate Program Assistant, Department of Computer Science

She has assisted me through out my admission process and I have been in contact with her through mails.

23. What if I reject your VISA?

Sir, I don’t think so you are going to do so. But still if u reject my visa I think that I will re-apply and come back to u soon.

24. Where your parents completed their studies?

Father: ME Gold Medalist Civil engineer from MS University.

Mother: MA in HINDI from MS University.



Information technology (IT) is one of the most agile industries that is critical for a business in today’s tough economic times.  Information, on the other hand, is an asset of utmost importance to a business organization.  And so is information security.  If the information of a business organization is not secure enough, unfortunately, it is susceptible to attacks.

Everything today is done through the internet.  There are many businesses that run only through internet, and might not even have a physical office location.  For example, sending emails, uploading or downloading data from the internet, clouds – processing information with the help of internet, many public documents are posted online for the general public to see, organizational information flows through the network they have and sits on their servers, and many more.  Today, almost everything on the internet is monitored.  All these activities require protection from the cyber hackers who can penetrate into the network systems and misuse the information.  Such attacks inculcate hard economic consequences on individuals, organizations, and society as a whole.  In this paper, we will study about some of the economic consequences that incurred, and their benefits and problems.

In the first section, we discuss about the background of the cyber attacks, talk about a few known cyber attacks.  In the second section, we discuss about the economic consequences of cyber attacks and their impact on individual, society, and organization along with their problems.  In the third section, the future of cyber attacks is discussed.  And in the fourth section, we summarize the paper with our analysis of the findings.


Cyber attacks are by and large computer to computer attacks which are motivated to delete, steal, or modify the information on the targeted computer systems.

Vatis (2002) categorizes different types of cyber attacks as: (a) unauthorized intrusions, wherein the attackers hack the computers through different hacking methods, or in case of a company, an insider goes beyond his authorized access to break into the company’s network for some confidential information; (b) destructive viruses or worms, which are easy to spread from one computer to another in various forms like through emails; and (c) denial of service (DoS) attacks that may even lead to network bottleneck with tremendous traffic load.  He suggests that the following are some of the politically motivated attacks that are prevalent today:

  1. Web Defacements and Semantic Attacks are used to propagate false information by changing the web page content subtly.
  2. In Domain Name Server (DNS) Attacks, when the user requests for a particular website to the DNS server, then (s)he is diverted to an unwanted website because of a wrong Internet Protocol (IP) address generated by the DNS server.  This method of attacking is common within most of the networks today.
  3. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks involve high volume of communications to the targeted computers is the strategy that cyber attackers focus on to slow down those target machines.  These communications are drawn from web servers and email servers, and diverted to the target computers to create a bottleneck, and ultimately slow down or even shut down the machines.
  4. Types of Malicious Code are viruses, worms, and Trojan Horses.  Usually, system administrators are well aware of viruses and worms that can be caught and remedied, but there are certain malicious codes that are easily ignored by the system administrators which may be detected only after disrupting the information.  This is the most cost-effective way of playing disrupting the foundation of information infrastructure of a business when the motive is only destruction.
  5. In Exploitation of Routing Vulnerabilities routers, also known as air traffic controllers of the internet, ensures that the information packets get from the source to the destination.  Routing disorders in the network could lead to attacks that may destruct the Internet.
  6. There are Compound Attacks wherein attackers can combine a number of attacks and make a series out of them which can destroy everything leaving no possibility of recovery.

Laws are made to address such attacks, but these laws do not suffice the needs of the businesses to survive or get back on the same track as they were before.  Etsebeth (2011) argues that businesses should not only protect their information, but also should be aware of whom to give access to that information.  He classifies three categories of cyber attacks against United States: (a) interference with information and/or data: occurs when availability, confidentiality, and integrity of the information asset are compromised by an adversary; (b) interception of information and/or data: when the adversary modifies or deletes the compromised data; and (c) impersonation: where an adversary pretends to be an authorized individual.  He states that information security is mandatory and is no longer an option because any activity that tends to threaten the information assets of the business would be directly threatening the performance and efficiency of the business or the concerned firm.  He suggests that with corporate information been given to the stakeholders, and public in some instances, for the purpose of encouraging them to invest in the business, there should be legal liabilities involved in case of violation of transparency or information disclosure.  Recommendations for important legal aspects of information security, and how to defend in case of getting involved in a legal action, have been suggested by the author in his paper.

One of the latest attacks was on the Twitter Account of the Fox News by a group of cyber hackers.  They call themselves AntiSec.  This hacker group reported that President Obama was shot dead.  Although there are no economic consequences in this case in particular, but such situations can exist with different websites that hold extremely important and sensitive information.  Even though these attacks were prank, but can lead to substantial monetary losses to these companies.

Economic Consequences of Cyber Attacks- Impact on Individual, Society & Organization

The economic consequences of cyber attacks have many aspects.  They are different at societal level, organizational level, and individual level.  United States spends a major chunk of resources like cash flow and intelligence on developing the weapons, and training and maintaining large army and military bases.  On the contrary, today these resources have to be mobilized and shared with information technology (IT) risks and cyber attacks.  This means that along with the security of this country’s nationals, now humongous amount of resources have to be invested in cyber security as it is a threat of an equivalent magnitude of risk.

An example that involves all the above three levels of impacts, i.e. societal, organizational, and individual levels, is of United States cyberwar with China.  Mason (2011) explores the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) intentions of targeting American companies and government networks.  The PRC has developed offensive capabilities like the recruitment of citizen hacker groups, creation of logic bombs and their placements in foreign networks, and creating and maintaining cyber military forces.  Their main targets include U.S. government systems, and numerous other computer systems across the globe.  In addition to this, a number of western clients were supplied reverse-engineered Cisco servers by the Chinese companies and it has been found out that a few compromised routers were sold to U.S. Marine Corps, Air Force, and other defense contractors with objective of slowing down the systems or weakening their cryptographic systems.  Following the example of China, it clearly indicates that instead of spending most of the resources on creating weapons and machinery, the resources have to be spent on IT in the security direction, and on the U.S. Cyber Command within the Department of Defense (DoD).  These cyber squad people should be provided with all the possible technical support with solid infrastructure at their disposal to defend the American companies and the government networks.  If there is a cyber attack, then the economic impact would be tremendous.  The privacy would no longer exist.  To exemplify this situation, in 2010, Google Inc. revealed that there was a Chinese origin attack.  With the help of spear-phishing techniques, Gmail accounts of the Chinese dissidents were accessed. The consequences of such situations led to the adoption of strict security measures towards the mission of keeping our infrastructure in place and maintain a tight and effective protection shield.   The problem is that the development of software and installation of infrastructure by employing fiber-optic cable, routers, and servers through Internet Service Providers (ISPs) is not enough.  The United States is facing such cyber attacks since 1982 (Lemieux, 2011).  As a consequence, American leaders are also facing critical decision making prospects with limited information in extremely truncated timeframes while under attack (Mason, 2011).

The major challenging economic consequences of cyber attacks are budget constraints, and resource limitations.  Lemieux (2011) asserts that most law enforcement agencies are presented with funding as a critical challenge.  Furthermore, the investigation resources like sufficient manpower to be employed in case of a cyber attack are always limited.  Characterizing the threats is important to know: (a) the method of setting investigation priorities, (b) the ways of how law enforcement and national security agencies achieve their organization objectives and goals, and (c) finding the definition of success as defined by the law enforcement and national security agencies.  In tough economic conditions like that of the United States, it is crucial for the federal agencies to conduct the most effective protection missions of cyber crimes.  Lemieux (2011)  concludes that the federal government has plans on investing vast amount of money for protection of public and private cyber infrastructures. 

Cashell et. al. (2004) provides the economic impact of cyber-attacks on businesses.  Identified target firms have to suffer 1% – 5% of losses in days after an attack which if translated to the magnitude of shareholders’ loss, it would account to about $50 million to $200 million.  In 2003 the losses ranged from $13 billion due to viruses and worms only, to $226 billion from rest of the attack forms.  These figures are compiled by the computer security consulting firms, and the numbers change due to change in the nature of attack and the firm on which the attack is focused.  By the end of 2003, for a company traded on Nasdaq, the average market capitalization was $870 million; for a company listed on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), it was $4.4 billion.  A 2% drop in market capitalization could be an average dollar loss of $17 million for a Nasdaq company, and $88 million for an NYSE firm in and around the year 2003.

Figure 1 Cost of Computer Crime As Reported in the CSI/FBI Surveys, 1997-2003 (Cashell et. al., 2004)

Figure 1 shows that there is no definite consistent trend in the cost of computer crime’s total reported losses.  But what we do find here is that there is a difference of approximately $355 million in the costs of computer crime between 1997 and 2002.  This means that with high stakes involved, at present this particular figure should be surprisingly in its higher multiples keeping in mind the largest number of cyber crimes ever recorded.


Figure 2  The distribution of cyber-attacks across SPEC dimensions (Gandhi et. al., 2011).

            There are various social, political, economic, and cultural dimensions of cyber attacks.  Gandhi et. al. (2011) call the combination of these factors as SPEC.  They propose that the key components in preventing and tracing cyber-attacks are their backgrounds and behaviors, their motivation for the attacks, and their level of socio-technological complexity, and also propose how they can be reduced or prevented.  They describe how SPEC events are correlated to cyber-attacks and how in the past, these events led to cyber-attacks.  They also present their analysis along the lines of SPEC dimensions.  Figure 2 shows the distribution of cyber-attacks across SPEC dimensions.  Politically motivated attacks can lead to economic consequences of misuse of cyberspace to attack the enemy’s website, thereby wastage of national resources like time and money which can lead to protests and this fire might even result in physical violence (which could account for the social dimension).  These politically motivated attacks can affect society and cultures as well.  For example, in cases like (a) land-dispute (e.g. between India and Pakistan), (b) dissatisfaction with the launch of a public document, policy, or law (e.g. Estonia-Russia DoS attack), (c) protesting government/political actions (e.g. the United States, Netherlands, New Zealand, and England attacked India’s nuclear power plant’s (BARC) website), (d) specific anniversary or historic day events triggered attacks (e.g. (i) April Fool’s Day Conficker Worm, and (ii) CIH/Chernobyl virus), and so on.


The future of cyber attacks is really difficult to describe.  The obvious thought would be that it could be far worse and beyond one’s imagination.  But as we pass through this critical phase of cyber attacks, we are learning the motivation behind these attacks, and so could be able predict with a number of different algorithmic software about the probability of the kind of attacks possible in the future.  Yet facing the truth that the level of intricacy and sophistication involved, we are still prone to something worse.  Moreover, with the upcoming cloud technology, business organizations should be very careful of the attacks possibly known as it involves huge cash flows which would eventually affect our economic conditions then.

Finding the motivation behind a cyber attack is probably the beginning point of understanding as to how and why do cyber attacks occur.  Proper study of the motivation of the attacks can help the cyber squad people analyze those attacks better and it would therefore relatively easy for foreseeing other attacks in the same lines in the same context.  Businesses should take risks and invest in prevention and protection software, thereby ensuring their critical information security and not letting the attacks occur at the first place.  The worst economic consequence of business coming to a standstill thereby heavily impacting the individual, organization, and society, can be prevented this way.  Moreover, organizations should hire highly skilled cyber security specialists.  The monetary infrastructure of organizations should divide their resources wisely, and invest in IT technology instead of compromising on it.


To sum up, there are severe economic consequences of cyber attacks such as stealing or misuse of critical organizational information, stagnant cash flow, unemployment, huge investment to recover from the attack without any success guarantees, tough political decisions for public, and so on.  We reviewed as to how do governments react in case of an attack, what political decisions were made and how people reacted to such actions, why issues like privacy would no longer hold any kind of importance, what strategies should be adopted in order to create a balance in infrastructure, how limited available resources can be utilized efficiently and effectively, how different researchers analyze attacks and deduct dimensional analysis out of the present available data, how do stock prices at Nasdaq and NYSE get affected, and so on.  So, preventive measures like heavy investment into information security should be taken before running into a cyber attack.


Cashell, B., Jackson, W. D., Jickling, M., & Webel, B. (2004). The Economic Impact of Cyber-Attacks. Congrssional Research Service. The Library of Congress.

Etsebeth, V. (2011). Defining the Current Corporate IT Risk Landscape. Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology .

Gandhi, R., Sharma, A., Mahoney, W., Sousan, W., Zhu, Q., & Laplante, P. (2011). Dimensions of Cyber-Attacks Social, Political, Economic, and Cultural. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine , 28-38.

Lemieux, F. (2011). Investigating Cyber Security Threats: Exploring National Security and Law Enforcement Perspectives. Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute, George Washington University.

Mason, G. P. (2011, June). Cyberwar: The United States and China Prepare for the Next Generation of Conflict. Comparative Strategy , pp. 121-133.

Vatis, M. (2002). Cyber Attacks: Protecting America’s Security Against Digital Threats. John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.