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What is Cyber Terrorism?

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

Cyber terrorism is the use of the Internet to conduct violent acts that result in, or threaten, the loss of life or significant bodily harm, in order to achieve political or ideological gains through threat or intimidation. It is the cause of concern to the cybersecurity professionals.

Cyber terrorism acts as deliberate large-scale disruption of computer networks, especially of personal computers attached to the Internet by means of tools such as computer viruses, computer worms, phishing, malicious software, hardware methods, social engineering, botnets, scripts can all be forms of internet terrorism. It is the future of the war.

In simple words cyber terrorism is, when terrorist organizations use the internet to further their goals and objectives, it is considered to be Cyber terrorism. Information and communication technology, commonly referred to as ICT, has changed the world as we know it but also offers plenty of scope for terror outfits to expand, recruit, and propagandize on various ICT platforms.

Why Cyber terrorism is cause of concern?

Cyber terrorism can be used to achieve various political means. Cyber terrorism can be used to politically weaken another country. The internet can be used by terrorists to finance their operations, train other terrorists, and plan terror attacks. The more mainstream idea of Cyber terrorism also includes the hacking of government or private servers to access sensitive information or even siphon funds for use in terror activities. However, there is no universally accepted definition of Cyber terrorism, to date.

Examples of Cyber Terrorism

  1. In 1998, ethnic Tamil guirellas attempted to disrupt Sri Lankan embassies by sending large volumes of e-mail. The embassies received 800 e-mails a day over a two-week period.

  2. During the Kosovo conflict in 1999, NATO computers were blasted with e-mail bombs and hit with denial-of-service attacks by hacktivists protesting the NATO bombings.

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