Cyber Terrorism

Written by Shambhavi Mathur

We live in a world where all wars will begin as cyber wars... It's the combination of hacking and massive, well-coordinated disinformation campaigns.

Information technology (IT) is evolving every day and our day-to-day life is becoming more and more dependent on it. In this twenty-first century, we cannot imagine ourselves without emails, online banking systems, and health care systems and the World Wide Web. This evolution of technology has given a modern and convenient life to society but with this also comes the darker side of the IT among which is cyber terrorism.

Cyber terrorism is the use of the Internet to conduct violent acts that result in or threaten, loss of life or significant bodily harm, to achieve political or ideological gains through threat or intimidation. Some of its examples are hacking into computer systems, introducing viruses to vulnerable networks, web site defacing, etc.

Cyber terrorism is of three types:

  1. Crime against people- These crimes include cyber harassment, human trafficking, spoofing, identity theft, etc.

  2. Crimes against property- These crimes include hacking, cyber and typosquatting, copyright infringement, etc.

  3. Crimes against the government- These crimes include accessing confidential information, cyber warfare, pirated software.

Some cases of cyber terrorism:

Wannacry: Wannacry attack was a May 2017 worldwide cyberattack by the wannacry ransomware cryptoworm that targeted computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the bitcoin cryptocurrency. This worm is also known as a wanna crypt. It is considered a network worm because it includes a transport mechanism to automatically spread itself.

Notpetya: On June 27, 2017, an attack occurred known as not Petya wherein Ukraine companies were the first to state that they were being attacked by malware. Later on that day countries like France, Russia, Italy, USA, Germany, Poland, United Kingdom also reported of being attacked but the major targets were Ukraine and Russia where more than 80 companies were attacked including the National bank of Ukraine, it was concluded that Ukraine was the most affected country with 80% damage and second-most country effected was Germany with 9% damage.

Few ways to protect ourselves from cyber terrorism are:

  • Avoid opening links of lotteries, prizes, gifts, discounts

  • Download all software from authentic sources

  • Use a good antivirus software

  • Update important software like payment wallet apps regularly

  • Use different passwords for each account.