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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Essay on Cyberterrorism

Examining the Threat of Cyberterrorism

            The definition of cyberterrorism resonates from the act of terror within the advancement of today’s technology. As societies continue to become connected and linked digitally through the Internet, along with it are corresponding threats which can be utilized as instruments to advance terror. Gabriel Weimann provides that “a terrorist’s ability to control, disrupt, or alter the command and monitoring functions performed by these systems could threaten regional and possibly national security (7). In turn, such approach can cripple the ability of states, along with its agencies to function effectively and respond appropriately to instances of threats to national interests. Recognizing the potential risks of cyberterrorism, its threat is becoming more apparent given the increasing dependence of man to computers. 

            As far as the threat of cyberterrorism is concerned, it can be seen that the danger remains to be present. Given the increasing reliance of processes to technology, there are also corresponding vulnerabilities especially on security and critical areas. Greg Miller in his article provides that “FBI Director James Comey testified that the risk of cyberattacks is likely to exceed the danger posed by al-Qaeda and other terrorist networks as the top national threat to the United States and will become the dominant focus of law enforcement and intelligence services” (1). Despite having top notch security protocols, firewalls and other countermeasures, there continues to be loopholes within the architecture or platform that can be utilized.

            Equally, the threat does not necessarily span in the area of security alone. Cyberterrorism can also cripple industries that remain to be evident in shaping economic stability. For example, attacks on energy companies can create problems in the economy especially as prices continue to shape how local and global market function. Christopher Harress attests that “The oil industry has been particularly vulnerable in recent years as cyberterrorists go after companies that they claim have brought harm to the public and the planet” (1). This example goes to show the vulnerabilities that are present and how it can be abused by individuals or groups who seek to advance economic sabotage.

            There is also the challenge related to monitoring and proper enforcement given the potential of cyberterrorism to exhibit anonymity and opportunity to target different areas. Weimann argues that “in cyberspace, there are no physical barriers such as checkpoints to navigate, no borders to cross, and no customs agent to outsmart” (6). With the increasing complexity of computers and network systems, there will always be situations wherein lapses and weaknesses can be exposed and taken advantage from. This in turn becomes problematic for authorities to exercise enforcement due to the depth of analysis required, the expertise necessary and properly responding to the issue. Clearly, this reality demonstrates the necessity of not only advancing supportive legislation but also continued effort to allocate resources in order to fully combat the problem head on.

            Overall, the advancement in computers and network systems has opened doors to the threats of cyberterrorism. The danger remains to be evident with man’s increasing dependence and reliance to computer systems to address daily requirements and tasks. Threats remain evident due to the vulnerabilities and loopholes present within the network system. Despite having security enhancements in place, there will always be weaknesses within that can be taken advantage from and create problems in the ability of critical agencies to function appropriately. Seeing this, there is then a need to take this matter seriously and provide the necessary resources to make sustain strategies and efforts towards effective monitoring and enforcement.

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Works Cited
Harress, Christopher. ‘Obama Says Cyberterrorism Is Country’s Biggest Threat, U.S.
Government Assembles “Cyber Warriors”’ International Business Times, 18 Feb. 2014. Web. Accessed 29 June 2014.
Miller, Greg. ‘FBI director warns of cyberattacks; other security chiefs say terrorism threat has
altered’ The Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2013. Web. Accessed 29 June 2014.
Weimann, Gabriel. ‘Cyberterrorism: How Real is the Threat?’ United States Institute of Peace.

2004. Web. 1-12. Accessed 29 June 2014.

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