EMERGING THREATS OFCYBERTERRORISM“Tomorrows terrorist may be able to do more with akeyboard then with bomb”
INTRODUCTIONDistribution Denial of Service attack, disrupting services,DNS attacks, uploading computer viruses, worms andmalwares, harassing individuals and companies,fraudulent transactionsJust examples of whathacktivist can do with just acomputer and internetconnectionInternet now offers genuine targets that will becomeattractive to certain terrorist organisations.In today’s world, computer, aninternet connection and few well-aimed clicks can lead tocyberterrorism.
Terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intendedto create fear (terror); are perpetrated for areligious, political or, ideological goal; and deliberately targetor disregard the safety of civilians.Cyberspace refers to the global network of independentinformation technology infrastructure, telecommunicationnetworks and computer processing systems in which onlinecommunication takes place.CYBERTERRORISM
DEFININGCYBERTERRORISMCYBERTERRORISM IS THE USE OF INTERNET BASED ATTACKS INTERRORIST ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING LARGE-SCALE DISRUPTING SERVICES,ESPECIALLY PERSONAL COMPUTERS ATTACHED BY INTERNETCONNECTION, BY THE MEANS OF TOOLS SUCH AS COMPUTER VIRUSES,MALWARES, WORMS TROJANS ETC.Cyberterrorims is convergence ofcyberspace and terrorism.To qualify for cyberterrorism, anattack should result in violenceagainst person or property, or atleast cause enough harm togenerate fear.The use of computer network tools toshutdown critical infrastructures like energy,transportation etc. or to coerce or intimidategovernment or civilian population is alsocyberterrorism.
The term cyberterrorism was first coined by BarryCollin in 1980’s by saying “Protect yourself from theCyberterrorism”.Dorothy E. Denning definescyberterrorism as:Unlawful attacks and threats of attack againstcomputers, networks, and the information storedtherein when done to intimidate or coerce agovernment or its people in furtherance of political orsocial objective.
For any hacktivist, it is very cheap, speedy and straightforward to initiate attacksagainst critical infrastructure.Cost of personal computerand internet access Less than a minuteUsing freely availableintruder toolsIt is costly, long term and intricate to take the steps needed to harden theinformation infrastructure to make it less vulnerable to attack, and to facilitate inresponding more effectively and efficiently when attacks do happen.International efforts andfundingResearch, developmentand deploymentTechnically andpolitically
SOME ILLUSTRATIONSIn 1996, a computer hacker allegedly associated with the WhiteSupremacist movement temporarily disabled a Massachusetts ISP anddamaged part of the ISPs record keeping system. The ISP had attemptedto stop the hacker from sending out worldwide racist messages under theISPs name. The hacker signed off with the threat, "you have yet to seetrue electronic terrorism. This is a promise."In 1998, ethnic Tamil guerrillas swamped Sri Lankanembassies with 800 e-mails a day over a two-week period. Themessages read "We are the Internet Black Tigers and weredoing this to disrupt your communications." Intelligenceauthorities characterized it as the first known attack byterrorists against a countrys computer systems.India and Pakistan have emerged in a long-term dispute over Kashmir.The dispute moved into cyberspace when pro-Pakistani hackers beganrepeatedly attacking computers in India.
TOOLS ANDTECHNIQUESCyberterrorism flourishes on the development ofnew technology. New tools and techniques areinvented almost daily for cyberterrorism. Some ofthem are:Viruses, Worms and MalwaresThese are the basic tools for any cyberattack. Hacktivist will hack into systems andupload any virus or worm which can result insystem crash.Internet and downloadedapplications are the majorsources of malwares
Unauthorized InstructionsDomain Name Service (DNS)AttacksPotential Attacks
CONCLUSIONCyberterrorism is evolving concept, and thereis possibility of critical damages toinfrastructure, networks and cyberspace, ifnot taken seriously.Cyberterrorism is a complex issue that is vitalfor information security specialists and to someextent the society to recognize. One must beconscious of all of its characteristics in order tobetter evaluate how and where the terroristsare likely to attack our approach.