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Computer Crimes Detective: A suspect monitored by our team

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Computer Crimes Detective: A suspect monitored by our team [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2014, 15:08
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Question Stats:

68% (01:21) correct 32% (01:38) wrong based on 494 sessions

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Computer Crimes Detective: A suspect monitored by our team was witnessed logging into Website X. Soon thereafter, Website X crashed due to a Trojan virus attack, causing damages estimated at millions of dollars. The same suspect also logged into Website Y. An hour after the suspect signed out of Website Y, it was attacked by the same virus and, subsequently, crashed. This strongly suggests that the suspect is either a hacker who is using this virus to shut websites down, or an unwitting user infected with the virus.

A major flaw in the detective's argument above is that

A) the detective overlooks the fact that during the second attack, the suspect had already been disconnected
B) the detective ignores the possibility that two different people could have used the same computer
C) the detective confuses the person who wrote the virus with the person who deployed it
D) the detective connects the cases of Websites X and Y and supposes that a pattern exists
E) the detective ignores the possibility that other people may have also been logged into the websites the same time that the suspect was
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Computer Crimes Detective: A suspect monitored by our team [#permalink]

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goodyear2013 wrote:
Computer Crimes Detective: A suspect monitored by our team was witnessed logging into Website X. Soon thereafter, Website X crashed due to a Trojan virus attack, causing damages estimated at millions of dollars. The same suspect also logged into Website Y. An hour after the suspect signed out of Website Y, it was attacked by the same virus and, subsequently, crashed. This strongly suggests that the suspect is either a hacker who is using this virus to shut websites down, or an unwitting user infected with the virus.

A major flaw in the detective's argument above is that

A) the detective overlooks the fact that during the second attack, the suspect had already been disconnected
B) the detective ignores the possibility that two different people could have used the same computer
C) the detective confuses the person who wrote the virus with the person who deployed it
D) the detective connects the cases of Websites X and Y and supposes that a pattern exists
E) the detective ignores the possibility that other people may have also been logged into the websites the same time that the suspect was

Dear Goodyear2013,
I'm happy to respond. In all honesty, I am not fond of this question. A well-written GMAT CR question has a crystal clear right answer, and four answers that are unambiguously incorrect. This question simply does not measure up to this standard.


A major flaw in the detective's argument above is that
A) the detective overlooks the fact that during the second attack, the suspect had already been disconnected

This answer seems to depend on the outside knowledge --- if a user were planting a Trojan virus, would that user have to remained logged in for the attack to be effective, or could that user log off and schedule the attack to deploy at a later time? Exactly knowledge of how viruses deploy is not common knowledge, and not something in which the GMAT would expect a test taker to be conversant.

B) the detective ignores the possibility that two different people could have used the same computer
The prompt gives us absolutely no information about how the team identified the user. Are they basing this on the IP address of a computer? On a certain log-in ID? Probably what the question-writers will say is that "we can't question the premises, and it's a premise that the team identified a particular user", but realistically, there is a a big problem here that the prompt simply does not address. Arguments on the GMAT do not leave gaping holes of this sort.

C) the detective confuses the person who wrote the virus with the person who deployed it
This one doesn't seem that plausible. If the user intentionally deployed it, then that user is also responsible; if the user unwittingly deployed it, then obviously the blame is elsewhere. This is clearly incorrect.

D) the detective connects the cases of Websites X and Y and supposes that a pattern exists
This is incorrect, but it's a flaccid wrong answer. Nobody would pick this. Two websites, same user, crash with same virus --- de facto, that's a pattern. That's absolutely indisputable. Exactly what the pattern means is up for debate, but the existence of the pattern is beyond any reasonable doubt.

E) the detective ignores the possibility that other people may have also been logged into the websites the same time that the suspect was
Of course, the detective ignored this, and of course this is a plausible answer. The question writer intended this to be the OA, but the other answers are not clearly enough wrong for this one to stand out as the only right answer.

This is a low quality question. Wrestling with this question will not necessarily help you with the CR on the real GMAT.

Here's a much higher quality CR question:
http://gmat.magoosh.com/questions/3418

Let me know if you have any questions.
Mike :-)
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Re: Computer Crimes Detective: A suspect monitored by our team [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2015, 04:22
My first "guess" was Answer B. However, since it is stated in the question that it should be the same person, so we have to accept it to be true.

Answer B:
This answer choice challenges the validity of the premises by raising the possibility that the suspect in the first case is not the same person as the one involved in the second case. However, we never question the premise(s) in Critical Reasoning questions. The premises are the factual basis we accept as true. If the argument is flawed, the flaw exists in the argument's conclusion or in an assumption underlying the conclusion. If the premises state it is the same suspect, it is enough to eliminate this answer choice.

This is a clear case of content vs. logic in Critical Reasoning questions. Knowing more about computers does not help you solve the question. On the contrary, it makes incorrect and irrelevant answer choices seem more appealing.

Anyway, there is definitely a flaw in the detective's argument. As always with Argument Flaw Questions, it can be found by analyzing the way the detective arrives at the conclusion. Look for an assumption made by the detective which isn't necessarily true.

OE for Answer E:
The detective has her eye on the suspect since the suspect logged into both websites around the time of the attacks. However, the detective's conclusion is that this particular suspect is the one who transferred the virus whereas this could have been done by anyone who was logged into the websites at the time, and is either a hacker or an unwitting infected user. The detective arrives at this conclusion based only on the fact that the suspect's visits occurred soon before or after the attacks. Therein lies the flaw in her argument.
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Re: Computer Crimes Detective: A suspect monitored by our team [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2016, 13:05
Evaluating option E - ' the detective ignores the possibility that other people may have also been logged into the websites the same time that the suspect was ' into a yes or no question gives us the correct answer

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Re: Computer Crimes Detective: A suspect monitored by our team [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2017, 14:11
B,C,D are out.
A is out b/c in the case X, "soon after" = "1 hour later" in case Y => the detective did not overlook, and even if he or she does, "the fact that during the second attack, the suspect had already been disconnected" is not what has been overlooked.

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Re: Computer Crimes Detective: A suspect monitored by our team   [#permalink] 24 Sep 2017, 14:11
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