Cyberwarfare & Terrorism

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Introduction to Cyberspace - William Gibson in 1984, Cyberspace refer to the virtual world created by communication over the internet.

A crime is an offensive act against society that violates a law and punishable by the government. Below is different between cybercrime, cyberterrorism and cyberwarfare.


Cyberwarfare has been defined by government security expert Richard A. Clarke, in his book Cyber War(May 2010), a "actions by a nation-state to penetrate another nation's computers or network for the purpose of causing damage or diruption. Cyberwarfare in US a military strategy a proactive cyber defense and the use of cyberwarfare as a platform for attack. In China, diplomatic cables highlight US concern that China is using access to Microsoft source code and harvesting the talents of its private sector to boost its offensive and defensive capabilities. However, in Russian state includes allegation of DoS attacks, hackers attacks, dissemination of disinformation over the internet, participation pf tate-sponsored teams in political blogs, internet surveillance using SORM technology and persecution of cyber-disidents. According to Lieutenant Colonel Timothy F. O’Hara, United States Army, Cyber warfare is a very attractive means to accomplish non-kinetic warfare. It has many features that our adversaries would find attractive. Figure 1.0 showed the cyber warfare depth.

Figure 1.0: Cyber warfare Depth


Terrorism is a criminal act that influences an audience beyond the immediate victim. The strategy of terrorists is to commit acts of violence that draws the attention of the local populace, the government, and the world to their cause. The terrorists plan their attack to obtain the greatest publicity, choosing targets that symbolize what they oppose. The effectiveness of the terrorist act lies not in the act itself, but in the public’s or government’s reaction to the act. For example, in 1972 at the Munich Olympics, the Black September Organization killed 11 Israelis. The Israelis were the immediate victims. But the true target was the estimated 1 billion people watching the televised event. However, the primary goal of a cyber terrorist maybe to disrupt, destroy, or “dis-inform” cyberspace. The primary goal might be to use cyberspace to “augment or enhance” some other physical threat or act of terrorism. Cyber terrorism as a method of operation also depends on the group.

According to CYBER WARFARE/CYBER TERRORISM by Lieutenant Colonel Timothy F. O’Hara, cyber terrorism can be conclude that cyber terrorism is not fictional concept. Cyber terrorism is a real and a legitimate threat. Cyber attacks at the low to medium level do occur on a regular basis. However, study clearly indicates that cyber terrorism, as a threat, is not currently and has not been at the level the media pundits would have us believe. A “digital Pearl Harbor” is certainly conceivable, but it is probably unlikely, and the threat diminishes as the level of awareness increases. Correspondingly, the threat of a cyber attack resulting in physical damage is equally unlikely. What is more likely to occur in the future is a steady increase in the number of cyber attacks that we are currently experiencing. These attacks are designed primarily to disrupt digital data and “dis-inform” the public. It is also more likely that the future will see a steady increase in the use of cyberspace to support general terrorist operations. For the same reasons that private businesses and governments derive value added from cyber operations, so will terrorists.

In spite of the events of September 11th we live in an optimistic time. The terrorist group that attacked us on our home soil is on the run. While still dangerous, their over-all effectiveness has most likely been reduced. Although cyberspace is not a risk-free environment, the benefits of private, business, and governmental usage of cyberspace clearly outweigh the risks. The freedom of cyberspace can be maintained, as long as domestic cyber security measures are properly structured so as to minimize damage resulting from intentional cyber attacks