The Terrorist in Your Living room
IRLS 210 B006
American Military University
“Cyber terrorism has become one of the most significant threats to the national and international security of the modern state, and cyber attacks are occurring with increased frequency. The Internet not only makes it easier for terrorists to communicate, organize terrorist cells, share information, plan attacks, and recruit others but also is increasingly being used to commit cyber terrorist acts. It is clear that the international community may only ignore cyber terrorism at its peril.” (Kelly G. 2010) Americans are becoming more and more codependent on technology. The vast majority of homes in the United States have at least one home personal computer (PC) that is connected to the internet. Americans have gotten accustom to being able to access the internet from their homes. Banking, social media, video teleconferencing and business ventures are all examples of how the internet is being used. The availability of the internet and computers in homes have simplified lives in the United States, however this allows cyber-terrorist to have direct access to the most personal of information. Much like the attacks that took place on September 11th the average American is completely unaware of the vulnerabilities that lye waiting around every corner of cyberspace. Cyber-terrorism not only affects individuals, it can also affect the entire nation. The United States critical infrastructures are becoming more dependent on computer networks for there operations. If security is not stepped up terrorist may be able to disrupt or shut down critical support systems. Americans and American companies must educate themselves on the vulnerabilities that cyber-terrorism presents and begin to work toward securing our networks in the same manner as we do our borders. “If the new terrorism directs its energies toward information warfare, its destructive power will be exponentially greater than any it wielded in the past greater even than it would be with biological and chemical weapons”. (Walter, L. 1996) Cyber terrorism is not a relatively new term. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines cyber terrorism as "The premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs, and data which result in violence against noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents". (Elmusharaf, M. 2004) Interest in cyber security began in the late 1980’s, and began to hit front page news in late 1999 with the scare of Y2K. Cyber terrorist are also not a new entity the earliest politically motivated network attacks can be traced back to the 1980s when German hackers attempted to steal information from the computer systems of drug and chemical companies to show complicity in environmental spills and later cyber espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union. (Anderson, K. 2010) There are two views that exist for defining cyber terrorism; effects-based and internet-based. In an effects-based situation cyber terrorism exists when computer attacks result in a situation where fear is generated which is similar to a traditional terrorist attack. In an internet-based situation attacks are done to cause harm or severe economic damage. “The objective of a cyber attack includes four areas: Loss of integrity, loss of availability, loss of confidentiality, and physical destruction.” (Army, 2005, P. II-1 and II-3). Cyber space is constantly being attacked. Criminals are constantly looking to exploit and take advantage of a range of computers from average citizens to entire government networks. As computers become more powerful, complex software programs become available and average PC users learn these how to use these tools of destruction these criminal acts will become more frequent and more severe. There are many unique and challenging issues that come with cyber terrorism. The nature of a...
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