For my Computer Concepts 2 i had was compelled to write an essay on cyber-terrorism. I thought that some of my techy friends on LJ might find it interesting. Here it is:
“Do As I Say Or The Macintosh Gets It!”
By: Joey Glover
Cyber-terrorism is defined as an assault on electronic computer communications. The article that I read regarded cyber-terrorism as a menace that terrorist may have to result to or order to beat an enemy with a stronger infrastructure for conventional warfare. A few examples of cyber-terrorism could be hacking databases, creating a virus and spreading it, or stealing information via the internet.
One reason that cyber-terrorism is an imminent threat is that all of our national are “air-gapped” which makes them inaccessible to hackers. They can’t hurt us if they can’t touch us. This means that, although personal computers aren’t as safe as they could be, matters of national security are defended. This means that we are also safe from our own weapons systems. However, this is one of the only things that are entirely inaccessible to hackers. If they exhaust their other resources, human ingenuity will once again outdo it’s self.
Another reason why we may not be safe is that cyber-terrorism is an attractive. Today’s wars are being fought with less and less conventional tactics. Cyber-terrorism is likely to be the successor to guerrilla warfare. It has minimal blood-shed. It has the capability to seriously cripple our already hurting economy. It also can attain a large amount of publicity.
Even though cyber-terrorism has only caught large scale attention in the past few years, it has been active since the early 1990’s. It’s a game that has had time to be developed. Whereas, as a nation have only started to concern over it in the past few years. Terrorists have become computer-savvy. They can fight us not on the battle-field, but within one of our most trusted networks, the internet.
Cyber-terrorism also has the appeal of being able to reach massive amounts of people with a minimal amount of effort. Previously the biggest terrorist attack harmed thousands of people. With the use of the internet, terrorists can hurt many times that amount of people; all without any martyrs! This is a terrifying prospect. It was hard enough to fight an enemy that isn’t afraid to die; but now we may face an enemy that no longer uses death as a primary weapon.
Which brings me to my next point; cyber-terrorism is amazingly effective because it hits us where it hurts. Today, more and more of our world is being made computer-accessible. Alarmingly, most of it is being connected to the World Wide Web. This network is particularly sensitive. It is beginning to become questionable whether America could function without the Internet. If we lost this, it’s possible we could lose ourselves.
In conclusion, cyber-terrorism is one of the greatest threats that we, as a nation, face today. If hostile forces were to gain control of the Internet, we would be lacking communications, our online bank accounts could be seized. In short life as we know it would come to a screeching halt.