Free Essay

Cyber Terrorism

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By August8794
Words 1564
Pages 7
Truman R Miller
18 April 2014
Cyber Terrorism in the Age of Modern Technology
In June of 1983 a movie produced by MGM called, “WarGames” (1-1983) set off one of the most intriguing films based in what was considered the beginning of the age of home based computers. WarGames despite the obvious age of the technology, gives us an inside look into its paranoid Cold War opening tensions to the staggering moral climax. Directed by John Badham, this cyber-espionage thriller might also be considered a blueprint in cyber terrorism today.
In 1995 some 12 years later another movie directed by John Badham called, “The Net” (2-1995) would give us another look into the emerging age of cyber terrorism. A computer programmer stumbles across a disk containing confidential information, then has her not so secured computer hacked into by a company owned by Gregg Microsystems. In the turn of events to follow, she has all of her personal information, history and financial records deleted, then to her surprise, later finds out that her identity is replaced to reflect that she is known as a criminal.
Technology in the next 30 years will become more advanced and with it comes a plague of security threats the world has never seen before. The nostalgia of 5½ inch Floppy Discs, Commodore 64s, Apple II and Atari 800 computers being connected to by way of voice synthesizers, 300 baud acoustic couplers, mass prefix dialers, will be everything needed for anyone to start their own cyber terrorism business. The list of new technology today is so vast that it only scratches the surface of what the next 30 years might become.
Cyber Terrorism is more complex than the above mentioned movies. The research in this paper will show various ways in which cyber terrorism is introduced and the effects of it use. One form of cyber terrorism is online bullying through the use of social media’s. Today with the invention of cell phones, tables, laptops and computers, cyber terrorism has the ability to move faster and farther in effecting our lives. Bullying has taken on a new form of violence, gone are the days of school ground squabbles. “Although there is evidence that individuals involved in traditional bullying as victims, bullies, or both are often also involved in cyber-bullying.” (Li, Q. 2007) But is cyber bulling the same as cyber terrorism? Cyber bullying is carried on in a similar way, cyber bullying can be sent via instant messaging, e-mails, and social networks from any mobile media device. The same way that foreign terrorism uses cyber-space. "Cyber bullying is when someone repeatedly harasses, mistreats, or makes fun of another person online or while using cell phones or other electronic devices." (3-2014)
The United States is not the only country doing research on cyberbullying. Many countries have recently published articles examining cyber bullying within rural and urban schools. These studies examine the prevalence, impact, and differential experience of cyber bullying among middle and high school students. Of those finding, the surveys examined the use of technology, cyber bullying behaviors, and the psychosocial impact of bullying and being bullied. Cyber bullying establishes a power and control over the victim through intimidation, humiliation, social exclusion and damage to that person’s reputation. The anonymity of the person is often difficult to identify the perpetrator and leaves the perpetrator feeling empowered, protected from accountability and detached from the impact of their behavior. Simply put the perpetrators do not fear being punished. On the other hand, the effects on the victim are lasting. The victim’s academic performance, mental health, self-esteem and social outcast often go unresolved for fear that adults may overreact and the student will lose their computer privileges.
Children’s Social Information Processing
In light of numerous publicized cases of bully-related suicides in the past several years, increased efforts have been made to identify and understand the factors that may predict children’s involvement in bullying. Additionally, researchers and policymakers have focused much attention on creating effective interventions aimed at educating children about the harmful consequences of involvement in bullying. Nonetheless, bullying continues to occur both in and outside of school, leading many children and adolescents to experience long-term pain and emotional distress (Beran & Li, 2007).

The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry reported about 49.5% of these students indicated they had been bullied online and 33.7% indicated they had bullied others online. (5-July 2010) Most bullying was perpetrated by friends, and of those that were bullied they generally did not tell anyone about the bullying. When asked, those that were bullied said they felt angry, sad, or depressed after being bullied online. Although participants that bullied others online afterwards said they felt guilty or ashamed, however, most said that it made them feel as though they were funny, popular, and powerful. “Extensive research has explored how aggression type varies across gender, with boys more commonly engaging in overt or physical aggression and girls tending towards relational aggression.” (Crick, Ostrov & Werner, 2006; Katsurada & Sugawara, 1998) Understanding how to curve cyber bullying within children’s social worlds takes the support of educators and parents. Strategies and prevention are key factors in curbing cyber bullying; awareness, education and early intervention help the students understand the clear consequences of technologies. Victims should never respond to cyber-bullying, they should inform parents or guardians of such activities. Schools and police should also be informed by the victims, they should also save as much information as possible of the perpetrator(s).
There is an overabundance of technology in the world today based off of information. Because government groups and businesses rely so heavily on information their reliance creates opportunities for cyber terrorism. As each year passes, technology only grows more and with it, so does the need for information. The ability to access information has become simpler because of the internet. Society has become so fixated on technology to the point that it is unfathomable for all but the smallest of business to operate without computers or networks. This dependence on the Internet has greatly increased the risk of cyber terrorism attacks. Cyber terrorism is progressively becoming a major threat in the twenty-first century.
In the year 1997, an FBI agent by the name of Mark Pollitt defined cyber terrorism as “the premeditated, politically, motivated attack against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents” (Cyber-Terrorism 1). These cyber-attacks have great reason to cause unease. Internet security professionals have expressed their increasing concern of the frequency of the attacks against the Internet. This is a very troubling trend as the terrorists learn and adapt from every attack what works and what doesn’t, what vulnerabilities they have and how we respond to such attacks. Cyber-Terrorist gain knowledge with each attack this in turn increases their odds for success. This year, the cipher Red virus infected over 760,000 computers worldwide and was the fastest spreading virus glimpsed to date over the Internet. A research study that was conducted in 2002 by the Computer Crime Research Center (CCRC) stated that 90% of surveyors registered computer security breaks within the last year. Following that, CIO Online conducted a research that showed 92% of companies have experienced computer attacks. “Attacks against the internet increased at an annual rate above 60% percent in which those reported systems vulnerably and security incidents represent an estimated 10% percent of the actual total” (Colman2).
It is obvious that terrorist groups have begun to realize several opportunities that await them when concerning technology and cyberspace. Because of the internet’s accessibility, anonymity, and global character it has made cyber terrorism difficult to track and pinpoint. It is entirely possible that, given time, a larger scale attack could happen. An Australian male hacked into the computerized waste management system of Macroochy Shire, Queensland just because his application to the agency was rejected. His actions led the spillage of millions of liters of raw sewage into the rivers, local parks and even the grounds of the Hyatt Regency hotel. The area’s creek water turned black and marine life died. Likewise, in 2004, an organization of Romanian cyber terrorists hacked the computers that controlled the systems of a research station in the Antarctic. Even though they were all stopped, the fact remains that if the goal had been accomplished, people within the station could have been harmed. In 1996, a Science Applications International Corporation survey also uncovered millions of loose from forty major US corporations due to the computer break-ins. As recent as 2014, Target a national retail company experienced losses in the millions because hackers were able to break security protocols in the network systems and not only get credit card numbers, but also the pin numbers to access those accounts. However, most Americans think that these cyber-attacks are coming from the US. It is becoming more common that cyber-attacks are coming overseas in countries like Russia,
Many terrorist groups are getting tremendous benefits from technological advances. For example, the Internet has increased communication skills and propaganda of terrorist groups, since the only way to get publicity and attention was of traditional media. Now thanks to the network, terrorist groups can directly control the content and dissemination of materials. It is, therefore, evident that the Internet has become vital for terrorist organizations (Carsten 2010, pp. 9).

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