What is Cyberterrorism?

If we want to define Cyberterrorism in one sentence, it is when someone sit behind his/her PC and use internet to conduct terrorism incidents. In other terrorism, they need to gain access certain location and place some bomb or hijack airplane, take some hostage and they should be physically there. But in case of Cyberterrorism, no physical present required. It is not simple that everyone could do it and public information as today, didn’t explain the real case of cyberterrorism , but as internet become global and by adaption of new technologies which are dependence to cyberspace, we will face cyberterrorism in future, if we don’t take right action today. Let discuss about some possible example of cyberterrorism, to show the risk of it. There are nuclear reactors which relays on connection to a device running operating system, they might not be connected to internet, but Stuxnet proof that they could get infected. Attacker could just infect a PC of a company which is collaborator to nuclear facility and if their PC get infected, then one infected USB drive could get there and stop operation there. But in worse case, a virus might blow up the nuclear reactor and kill people. Many of people are relay on GPS to navigate between cities and the GPS usually relays on internet to detect areas with terrific in real-time, so could recommend user a way with less traffic. What if someone hack this system and fake traffic data , so force the driver to go to the direction that they want and there , they perform terrorist attack. What if they hack into terrain system and modify the system so cause accident between trains. Same for aviation system, so they force airplane to crash by providing them the wrong direction. In the more advance case, they might create some virus to change breaking system in your car and let say when you are in high speed, the break doesn’t work. Or maybe they hack a drone (drone-jacking) and while you are driving in highway, jump directly into your car and cause crash. Cyber-terrorism could use cyberspace and internet to perform their crime easier from far location and sometimes, they just create a malicious code and send it over the net and just wait to see what happens. In such situation, we need to understand the risk of cyberterrorism and fight against it. Some people might say, when let stop all internet and all about IoT, so we are safe. Well, this is not a wise solution, because terrorists just use other means. For example, let say if we didn’t invent airplane or at least we didn’t put it to public access 9/11 would never occurred. But certainly 9/11 would have happened in other form or using other tools and we couldn’t blame all in airplane. In addition, airplane did a lot of great thing for us. Also consider electricity, some people are dying because of electricity. But, if electricity and cyberspace wasn’t there, I was unable to share the risk of cyberterrorism and ask you to prepare to defend against it.

How could we defend against cyberterrorism? Well, we need to understand and analysis it and create resources to defend against it (this is something that all governments must do today), we shouldn’t wait for another terrorist attack, so we could wake up and say , hey lets defend it, we should prepare before such attack occur. In other side, we need to create our tools (software, hardware, network, etc.) in a way that it is ready to defend and mitigate such attack. To get ready to combat against cyberterrorism, we need knowledge of criminology and IT and we need special taskforces to prepare and train people so make sure our devices are protected against known and unknown cyberterrorism attack. I request researchers, government, IT professionals and other stakeholders, get ready with all forces before it is too late. Looking forward to safer internet.


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