Cyber Terrorism A Global Menace Criminology Essay

A female American cartoonist, Jeff Smith stated, " The threat is there, it's very real, If we've a Unabomber who would like to launch an attack with an PC instead of a bomb, there could be significant amounts of damage". Computers and the internet are an important part in modern society undoubtedly. They make our life more convenient as well as enhance our living quality. As the role of computers is tremendous, it stimulated criminals and terrorists to make it their preferred tool for attacking their targets. This kind of modern crime is named cyber terrorism. This transformation in the methods of terrorism form traditional solutions to electronic methods is now one of the hottest issues in the modern society. Cyber terrorism is a kind of terrorism which the criminals use computers and the internet as a medium to commit crimes. Issues surrounding this kind of crime have become high-profile, generally those including hacking, trojan, computer worms and e-mail related crimes. We can simply observe the cases of cyber-related crimes are rising on news, even in local or other countries. In my own viewpoint, Cyber Terrorism can be an inevitable phenomenon in an advanced society.

The intentions of cyber terrorists using cyberspace as a channel to commit crimes can be defined in various ways. Many people assume that the objective of cyber terrorists are just concentrate on computer hacking, they only commit crimes through internet. They often regard that their intention to commit cyber crimes is only for steal data and violate people's privacy. However, there are another reasons for the criminal to commit cyber crimes. Dorothy Denning stated that "Cyber terrorism may possibly also are more attractive as the real and virtual worlds become more closely coupled, with automobiles, appliances, and other devices attached to the web. " As the cyberspace has the capacity to affect an abundant amount of individuals at one time, it is the effective method for criminals to commit crimes through internet with different intentions and purposes. With respect to explaining the purpose of cyber terrorism, the criminals can be politically intended hacking operations, their purpose is to cause tremendous injury to the society such as lack of life or economical damages. Second, the behaviors of the criminals can be unlawful attacks and threats of attack against computers, networks, and the info stored therein when done to intimidate. Third, the criminals coerce a government or its people for the political or social objectives. Forth, cyber terrorism can be considered a physical attack that ruins computerized systems for critical infrastructures. (Such as the internet, water supply and telecommunications). Aside from these objectives of Cyber Terrorism, some authoritative organizations also have their own definition on the word of it. The U. S. National Infrastructure protection Center defined cyber terrorism as "A criminal act perpetrated by the use of computers and telecommunications capabilities, leading to violence, destruction and/or disruption of services to produce fear by causing confusion and uncertainty within a given population, with the goal of influencing a government or population to comply with particular political, social or ideological agenda". Now we can have a thoroughly understanding of why the terrorists choose cyberspace as a medium to commit crimes.

The types of cyber terrorism are multi-faceted, cyber terrorists use various tools and methods to achieve their purposes. The first mean is hacking. Hacking identifies all forms of unauthorized and illegitimate solutions to access a computer system or a network. Some people are underestimate the harmful effect. Here is a terror example showing the seriousness of hacking. Jimmy Sproles and can Byras once stated a British hacker wished to know "the type of chaos could be caused by penetrating the hospital computer", he hacked into a Liverpool hospital in 1994 and changed the medical prescriptions for the patients. Unluckily, An individual was killed by an overdose of penicillin following the hacker broke in to the hospital computers and altered his prescription. The other form of cyber terrorism is Computer Viruses. It is generally your computer program that can infect other computer programs by modifying them in such way as to include a copy of computer. They are really spreading faster than they're being halted. Some people are underestimating the harmful effect of trojan, they think that the virus can only affect the performance on the non-public computer, it won't post threat on other aspects. In fact, the virus are incredibly dangerous and its harmful effect are massive. For example, a healthcare facility life-support computer system being stopped by virus could be lethal. In addition, Computer worms are also an average tool for Cyber terrorism. It really is a self-contained program that is able to spread functional copies of itself or its segments to their personal computers. A worm named WANK(1989) infected many computers on the network. If this worm discovered that it had system privileges, it could change the system announcement message to "Worms against Nuclear Killers!". Additionally, Cyber Terrorism are also included some E-mail related crimes. The convenient, ease and speed of email has managed to get a preferable tool for criminals. The e-mail related crimes are mainly email spoofing, email bombing, threatening emails, defamatory emails. Also, it's a robust tool for criminals to spread virus and worms. Criminals are increasingly made to steal information silently with no noticed by the victims. It is expected that mobile devices are prevalence inside our daily life, there may be increasingly targeted victims for attack by the criminals in future.

Cyber terrorism can bring negative effect to the individuals, society and even the whole nation tremendously. The actions of criminal hackers are non-stopped all around the globe. They try hard to exploit vulnerabilities in software, violate people's privacy, steal information, and even turn off computer network malevolently. Lost of properties, being violated of privacy and personal data will be the results of hacking by the criminals. Their computers may also be infected by virus and worms, it may harm a pc system's data or performance. For the society, criminals could pose serious threaten to the procedure of business and governments. The threat is factual, increasing and already has proven costly. Cyber attack which range from "I LOVE YOU" virus to the "Trinco" and the worms "RamenLion" and "Crade Red" have cost around $5 billion US dollars. According to Coleman, K. (2003) the internet being down first day could disrupt almost $6. 5 billion worth of transactions. Lewis, J (2002) also states that the "Love Bug" virus is estimated to get cost computer users across the world between $3 million and $ 15 million. In 2000, A hacker was able to control the computer system that control the flow gas through the pipelines in Russia. In 2002, hackers broke in to the U. S. Justice Department's website and replaced the department's seal with a swastika, dubbed the agency the "USA Department of Injustice" and filled the page with obscene pictures. Also, the terrorists might crack into an air traffic control system and take over the entire direction of multiple airplanes. Mid-air collusion between airplanes or crashing an airplane into a building are just two possible results of the action. Cracking into a city's traffic system can have disastrous results. The other opportunity of traffic jams and traffic accident would be occurred and it's really consequences are incredibly serious. These cases and examples show that the cyber terrorism could seriously affect the social stability and public security of one's country. Some individuals may under-estimate the influences of cyber terrorism, they regard the criminals are just targeted on some individuals and business, it won't post a menace to the complete nation. By the way, cyber terrorism can not only affect a particular community of men and women but the entire nation. Richard Clark once marked "They (computers) run our energy grid, out telecommunications network, they run our railroads, our bank operating system, and all of them are vulnerable, at some level, to some degree to information warfare, or cyber-terrorism, " By the use of the internet the criminals can affect much wider damage than one could kill people. For example, they can destroy the economy of the country by attacking the critical infrastructures in the big towns such as electric power or water supply. Verton, D (2003) highlights that the members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were likely to inflate and destroy six key electric substations in London (2003). Had the IRA succeeded in their goal, they would have disrupted capacity to major portions of London for months at 2003. This example is a terror attack and would have threatened the citizens of London. Also, the criminals can post a menace to the security of the nation by targeting the sensitive and secret information by stealing, disclosing or destroy the machine of national defense.

The menace of cyber terrorism is measureless, its influences is profound, its target can be anyone, it is invisible but exist around us. It may occur anytime and anywhere at all times the entire world. The criminals could seriously threaten the operation of business and government even the entire nation. As everybody knows, the capability of human mind is inscrutable, the methods and tools using by criminals of cyber crimes are changed with each passing day. It really is impossible to get rid of the cyber crime from the cyber space. The existence of cyber terrorism can not be denied in the advanced society. Cyber Terrorism is unquestionably an inevitable phenomenon in the advanced society. Just like what Daniel, H. mentioned that "Among the hot areas right now could be searching for cyber crime and cyber terrorism. " The modern world is declared to be a global village, collective efforts should be done over the nations by the governments, business and people in order to rectify this worsening situation.

Word Count : 1628

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