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Cyber Terrorism Essay, Research Paper

Cyber-Terrorism is a reality in the modern age of rapid technological advancement. As fast as new technology is established, people find ways to hack and corrupt it. Many times there is malicious intent behind such actions. These acts can include everything from computer viruses to contraband network servers to pirated IP addresses and credit account fraud. All of the stories we hear and those annoying emails that warn of a multitude of viruses can lull us into complacency when none of them come to fruition. In all honesty if you have a top-level virus-scanning program such as Norton, or McAfee your machine will be safe from most of the little viruses that you will come across. There is a propensity to copy and mutate existing viruses among the hacker community so they are easily identified and defended against by the scanning programs. Many of the viruses are meant to be detected; it is a high tech game of cat and mouse between the hackers and the Tech security groups. For the most part hackers want their viruses to be caught before they cause major damage. The prestige lies within the acknowledgement that your “kung fu” is superior among your peers. It follows that a reported virus where the potential level of catastrophe is dire but there is minimal damage done holds far more esteem then crashing a multitude of systems without any knowledge of the super virus reaching the media. There is a high level of taunting and signature traits contained within the viruses that give leads but are just enough not to get caught, it becomes an adrenaline rush for these groups to push the envelope and toe the edge. These viruses are not what the government is concerned with and end up being nothing more then annoyances to the Intelligence Establishment. There is however a very real possibility of a worm type CIF virus that has a purely malicious intent and is created as a stealth virus. Such a virus could go undetected for hours, days or months as it worked its way throughout a particular system and then strike at a pre-selected time. For the entire computer operated portions of American society this is a threat, this extends from mass transit to police and bank records and correctional facilities. Massive destruction both physical and theoretic could easily occur and quite frankly September 11th could be seen as precursor to the uniform and grave situation systematic mainframe crashes would cause. This would be a case of international espionage and would be a drastic move from the normal programs the tech security groups deal with on a daily basis. This type of attack could slide under existing defense and not be identified until it was too late thus rendering the attempts to defend helpless. A comparison would be the 9/11 attacks and how they were almost indefensible because of the suicide bomber mentality of the attackers. Similarly, the new age Cyber-Terrorists would not want the viruses to be detected and have no desire to impress their peers as is the case with their traditional counterparts. Since this is a new type of cyber warfare, there is no consensus on how to deal with theses issues. In a story reported by PC Mag, the FBI has contacted many of the individuals who they have identified as suspected hackers across America as well as a handful of those convicted for fraud / hacking into secure government sites. The intent of this contact was to solicit their services by playing on their Patriotism and their avarice, calling for their help in this turbulent time and praising their technological superiority. From what I can gather, the Intelligence agencies seriously fear this technological assault and are scared that they will be caught sleeping on this front if they do not prepare sufficiently. Internet and networking technologies are areas where America is clearly dominant but extremely susceptible to attack. The fear lies in the jealousy of American superiority and a chance to bring them down to the level of the nation where the particular Cyber-Terrorist hails. The irony of this as pointed out by the informational piece is that to pull off such an attack would take a vastly superior hacker familiar with a number of coding languages and networking intricacies, thus defeating the notion that only America and its allies have such a viable technological background. There are many questions yet to be answered but the heightened security has led to tighter inspection of mainframes and a new generation of firewalls and encryption are already being rushed to the marketplace and implemented in many government agencies.

Bibliography

Boehlert To Introduce Cyber-Terrorism Bill Within Weeks.(Sherwood

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– Text Available –

Japan to Establish Team to Fight “Cyber-Terrorism”. Xinhua News

Agency, Oct 10, 2001 p1008283H3589. Elec. Coll.: A79014364.

– Text Available –

U.S. may face net-based holy war.(Industry Trend or Event) Dan

Verton. Computerworld, Nov 13, 2000 p1. Elec. Coll.: A69544947.

– Abstract and Text Available –

High-Level, National Cyber-Terrorism Plan Announced. Kernan

Chaisson. Journal of Electronic Defense, March 2000 v23 i3 p15. Elec.

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– Text Available –

Man faces cyber terrorism charges. United Press International, Oct

25, 1999 p1008298u1072. Elec. Coll.: A56887249.

– Text Available –

World Wide Weapon.(computer crimes)(Brief Article) Christopher H.

Schmitt and Joellen Perry. U.S. News & World Report, Nov 5, 2001 p60.

Elec. Coll.: .A79572626.

– Text Available –

Cyberterrorism is a serious threat.(Industry Trend or Event)

Joseph E. Maglitta. Computerworld, April 19, 1999 p35(1). Elec.

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– Abstract and Text Available –

Worms Find New Ways to Snare Your PC.(through Microsoft MSN

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– Text Available –

PREPARING FOR A CYBER-ASSAULT.(the worries about future terrorist

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‘Net routers still feeling effects of Code Red, Nimda.(Industry

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