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Cyber Terrorism and Homeland Security

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Mathew Peabody

on 19 November 2013

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Transcript of Cyber Terrorism and Homeland Security

Cyber Terrorism and Homeland Security
By: Matt Peabody

What's the threat?
Numerous groups, such as the terrorist organization
al-Qaeda
have been suspected of cyber terrorist threats, hacking into computers and gaining backdoor entry into systems.
Cybercrime vs Cyber Terrorism
Cybercrime and cyber terrorism are not the same.
What IS Cyber Terrorism?
It is comprised of two elements:
Simply put...
Computer-to-computer attacks intended to cause significant damage in order to coerce or intimidate a government or civilian population.
Real-world Examples
Real-world Examples
In 2007 when Estonia was hit by a series of major cyber-attacks directed against its government and critical infrastructure. Estonia is one of the most wired nations in the world with an extremely high tech government, economy and banking system. Attacks were the result of botnets that launched massive Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS), swamping email accounts with spam.
In 2007, the Israelis bombed the site of a suspected Syrian nuclear installation. The supposedly state of the art Syrian radar was unable to notify the Syrian military of the air raid.
Al Qaeda - Cyber Terrorists
Osama bin Laden
has spoken about his desire to use advanced technology to attack the West and its economy.
Employee Roles and Responsibilities
With the emerging threat of cyber terrorism, government employees need to be on guard.
Policies and Procedures to Decrease Risk
Continual improvement on existing policies and procedures
Regular risk analysis
Extensive training of all staff
What would I do to improve security and prevent issues and physical threats?
Implement routine exercises, penetration testing, and mandatory training for all staff. Devote more money and resources to cyber-security divisions.
Air Force Cyberspace Command
Legal Implications
In regard to state sponsored cyber-attacks, the difficulty in prosecuting and apprehending suspected cyber terrorists becomes even more difficult; as suspected in the Estonia case where Russia did not cooperate in the investigation, apprehension, and extradition of those involved in subversive attacks against Estonia.
Estonia and Cyber Warfare
Questions?
What is cyber terrorism
The threats
Legal Implications
Employee roles responsibilities
My suggestions
Conway, M. (January 01, 2002). What Is Cyberterrorism?. Current History New York Then Philadelphia-, 101, 659, 436-442.
and
terrorism
, “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience”

Cyber
space, “that place in which computer programs function and data moves”
Cyberspace attacks must have a
"terrorist"
component to be labeled cyber terrorism.
The attacks must instill
terror
and they must have a
political motivation
.
Conway, M. (January 01, 2002). What Is Cyberterrorism?. Current History New York Then Philadelphia-, 101, 659, 436-442.
Vatis, M. (January 01, 2006). The next battlefield: the reality of virtual threats.(to predict and prevent: GLOBAL CATASTROPHE). Harvard International Review, 28, 3.)
States rather than criminals pose a greater threat to global cyber security: a critical analysis. (January 01, 2011). Strategic Studies, 31, 3.)
While no actual confirmed cyber terrorist attack has ever taken place, some commentators have argued that the Code Red DoS attack, in which
300,000
computers at the White House were infected with the Nimda virus that required almost
$3 billion
to clean up, was conducted by terrorist groups to test U.S. critical information infrastructures (CII's) defenses.
Speculations were that the microprocessors of the radar had hidden backdoors in which a programmed code could be sent, hence damaging their function and provisionally blocking the radar.
States rather than criminals pose a greater threat to global cyber security: a critical analysis. (January 01, 2011). Strategic Studies, 31, 3.)
The attack in Estonia was massive, with numerous forms of botnets each with thousands and thousands of infected machines on the attack. All major commercial banks, telcos, media outlets, and name servers - the phone books of the Internet - felt the impact, and this affected the majority of the Estonian population.
This was the first time that a botnet threatened the national security of an entire nation.
States rather than criminals pose a greater threat to global cyber security: a critical analysis. (January 01, 2011). Strategic Studies, 31, 3.)
Other Al Qaeda members or sympathizers also have occasionally talked of their desire to engage in
cyber-attacks
.
Vatis, M. (January 01, 2006). The next battlefield: the reality of virtual threats.(to predict and prevent: GLOBAL CATASTROPHE). Harvard International Review, 28, 3.)
The unclear status and ambiguity surrounding State responsibility for cyber-attacks makes it very difficult to bring States to task for actions they may have sponsored during a cyber-attack on another country.
States rather than criminals pose a greater threat to global cyber security: a critical analysis. (January 01, 2011). Strategic Studies, 31, 3.)
Spear-phishing, whaling (targeted phishing) and social engineering are common methods used to infiltrate computer systems and even facilities.
Considering how the modern battlefield is in cyberspace, it seems like we are unprepared for future attacks. We should also get more involved with existing NATO efforts.
After numerous delays, the US Air Force is improving their
Cyberspace Command
, but it’s still a provisional command. A domain controlled and secured in part by America's' Air Force, cyberspace is a critical part of today's warfighting mission.
Rosine, M., & Pampe, C. (January 01, 2009). Cyber update: Air Force cyber operations evolve into numbered Air Force. Airman, 53, 2.)
References
Conway, M. (January 01, 2002). What Is Cyberterrorism?. Current History New York Then Philadelphia-, 101, 659, 436-442.

Feds To Use Wiki For Cybersecurity Collaboration; The Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies will use the platform to share operational information on cybersecurity threats and best practices. (January 01, 2009). Informationweek.

Hua, J., & Bapna, S. (January 01, 2012). How Can We Deter Cyber Terrorism?. Information Security Journal, 21, 2, 102-114.

Keegan, C. (January 01, 2002). security CYBER-TERRORISM RISK. Financial Executive, 18, 35-37.

National Research Council (U.S.),, & Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Society. (2010). Examination of the U.S. Air Force's science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce needs in the future and its strategy to meet those needs. Washington: National Academies Press.

Officials delay basing decision for Air Force Cyber Command.(Round the Reserve). (January 01, 2008). Citizen Airman, 60, 2.)

Parks, C. (July 01, 2003). Cyber terrorism: Hype or reality?. Journal of Corporate Accounting & Finance, 14, 5, 9-11.

States rather than criminals pose a greater threat to global cyber security: a critical analysis. (January 01, 2011). Strategic Studies, 31, 3.)

Stohl, M. (January 01, 2006). Cyber terrorism: a clear and present danger, the sum of all fears, breaking point or patriot games?. Crime, Law and
Social Change, 46, 4-5.

Vatis, M. (January 01, 2006). The next battlefield: the reality of virtual threats.(to predict and prevent: GLOBAL CATASTROPHE). Harvard International Review, 28, 3.)
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