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Nick Jackson
Cyberterrorism: Weapons of Mass Annoyance


I. Introduction
a. Define Cyberterrorism
II. Types of Cyber Attacks
b. Identify and give examples of:
i. Trojan horse
ii. Virus
iii. Worm
iv. Phishing
v. Denial of Service (DoS)
c. Three Levels of Cyber Capability
vi. Simple-Unstructured
vii. Advanced-Structured
viii. Complex-Coordinated
III. Potential Threats of Cyberterrorism
d. Dams Used for Water Storage of Power Generation
e. Reliance on Digital
ix. Increased DoS Attacks
IV. Conclusion
V. Works Cited


The term cyberterrorism was created in the mid 90’s by combining cyberspace and terrorism. The term has been widely accepted after being embraced by the United State Intelligence Community. Janczewski and Colarik describe cyberterrorism as “Premeditated, politically motivated attacks by subnational groups, clandestine agents, or individuals against information and computer systems, computer programs, and data that result in violence against non-combat targets” (Janczewski & Colarik, 2005, p. 43). Cyberterrorism is a form of terrorism that uses any form of connected source to engage in attacks of information systems, incitement to violence, theft of data, and planning of terrorist attacks (Britz, 2011, p. 197). As an introduction into the topic, the following definition is key to understanding the definition:

“Cyberterrorism is the convergence of terrorism and cyberspace. It is generally understood to mean unlawful attacks and threats of attack against computers, networks, and the information stored therein when done to intimidate or coercer a government or its people in furtherance of political or social objectives. Further, to qualify as cyberterrorism, an attack should result in violence against persons or property, or at least cause enough harm to generate fear. Attacks that lead to death or bodily injury, explosions, plane crashes, water contamination, or severe economic loss would be examples. Serious attacks against critical infrastructures could be acts of cyberterrorism, depending on their impact. Attacks that disrupt nonessential services or that are mainly a costly nuisance would not” (Denning, 2000).

Cyberterrorism is considered an act of violence or intimidation using cyberspace. It is more complicated than simply hacking into a system to see what damage can be done; it has to stem from a motivational source such as politics, foreign government, or some other rousing source (Gross, 2003). Enemies of the U.S. are strongly motivated by hate. Hate can be a strong motivator when it comes to cyberterrorism, and just terrorism in general. When hate is the driving factor of actions, the consideration for the targeted group is very minimal, and the results of hate crimes are usually violent and gruesome acts. The FBI’s definition isn’t that far off from Denning’s. They have published three different distinct definitions of cyberterrorism: “Terrorism that…initiates attacks on information” – “the use of Cyber tools” – and “a criminal act perpetrated by the use of computers (Baranetsky, 2009). Most government agencies that have a response program for cyberterrorism have their own published definition of cyberterrorism. The question rises ‘why does cyberterrorism occur?’ The answer is that the terrorist want cause specific damage to the target. There are three factors that are considered when this question is asked, the first being the fear factor. It is the most common denominator of the majority of terrorist attacks. The attackers want to create as sense of fear in individuals, groups, or societies – whomever they are targeting (Janczewski & Colarik, 2005, p. 45). Perhaps a cyber example of this could be the attack of IT installations. Then there is the spectacular factor. Spectacular means...
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