President and oil production,transportation, and emergency services that
President Obama once stated as he address a young vibrate crowd ofStanford students that, “It is now clear that cyber threat is one of the mostserious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation,”Obama would continue his strong words by stating “We know that cyberintruders have probed our electrical grid, and that in other countries cyberattacks have plunged entire cities into darkness”(Obama, 2015). In otherwords, when the president of the United States puts this much emphasisinto a subject it shows how important it is and how big of an impact it couldhave on the nation. The Information Age has had an everlasting impact onnot only the United States but globally as well. As the United States overthe last 40 years have been very dependent on digital networks due to thefact that almost everything is controlled by computers. Terroristorganizations such like Al Qaeda, ISIS and hostile countries are aware ofthis and an attack on our networks could be crippling to our economy. Itwould bring the most powerful and influential nation to a standstill. This iswhy president Obama has expressed the need for increased securitymeasures because a cyber war is a reality that could happen soon that wemust be prepared for. The 2016 United States Presidential election is aprime example as to what happened when we allowed cyberterrorism to goun-detected and the rippling consequences we face from that mistake. Butwhat is Cyberterrorism? How can you address a problem that mostAmerican do not know is a problem? And most importantly how do you findsolutions so that greater generations do not bear the burden of ourmistakes. This essay attempts to answer these questions and draw aconclusion on ways of combating cyberterrorism.What is Cyberterrorism? Lately, this term has been constantly seen inthe media and news outlets. Cyber terrorism , is defined as the use of digitalequipment to bring down a country by tapping into its computer basedprograms and dismantling its infrastructure which includes but not limitedto: banking networks, air traffic control systems, gas and oil production,transportation, and emergency services that all rely on computer networksto function (Conklin and Shoemaker,2011). But many do not understand theconcept of this word and its effect on our way of life. With the advancementof technology, cybercrime will become the leading threat to the safety andsecurity of the American people. Experts on cybercrime agree thatcybercrime is an issue that needs to be focused on more in-depth becausethe wide-spread use of computers by the global economy has made the useof computers and internet vital to everyday life (Siegel, 2015). Althoughthey are 3 major types of cybercrime: cyber fraud, cyber vandalism, andcyber terrorism (Seigel, 2015) the more dangerous and most threating ofthem is cyber terrorism. Since the World Trade Center attacks onSeptember 11 the word ‘Terrorism’ became the campaign slogan forNationalism.First of all, the thing that makes cyber terrorism intrinsically differentfrom standard terrorism attacks is the fact that it is barrier proof andterrorists can bypass the American law because they can operate incountries that do not have laws against cyber terrorism (Siegel, 2015). TheFederal Bureau Investigation (FBI) states that “Cyber terrorists can also usethe internet as a supplement to regular attacks because they can obtaininformation about target countries”. When a person thinks of the differenttypes of warfare they would probably think of the more common types seenin the past wars like guerilla warfare, chemical warfare, and biologicalwarfare. But in the present day and age a new warfare has emerged. It isthe cyber warfare. This type of warfare is when an outside power maychoose to attack the network or power grid with means of harmful intent.An example of this can be seen when hackers released a series of cyberattackson Brazil’s power grid and left cities and parts of the countrypowerless for up to a few days.In result to this, Brazil lost millions upon millions of dollars and itseconomy was at a standstill. Now imagine if such a situation occurredwithin the United States the devastation it would cost economically anddomestically would be record breaking. An incident that happened to theUnited States that helped make the security of networks front and centerwas in 2007 when the theft of terabytes of information was taken from theDepartment of Defense, The Department of State, the Department ofCommerce, and the Department of Energy and Nasa because of a breach inby a foreign power (FBI). The FBI and other government agencies havemade efforts to combat the numerous attempts made to breach. Thisfollowed by another intrusion of the CENTCOM network which is used bythe Department of Defense to relay information for actions in the warsAmerica is currently in. This attack was believed to be a backdoor attackthrough corrupted memory sticks and thumbnail drives. Just as technologyhas increased so have the capabilities of perpetrators who are committingthe crimes.Both Conklin and Shoemaker even agrees that it is America’s hugedependence on the cyber world for its critical life support functions thatmakes it severely vulnerable to succumbing to an unprecedented electronicattack. Just like a traditional attack, Cyber terrorism can lead to death orbodily injury, explosions, plane crashes, water contamination, or severeeconomic loss (Conklin and Shoemaker,2011). In other words, we do notsee how much technology is growing, and how much we have come as asociety to depend on its efficiency. With the increase in our usage of all thistechnology, it has even cyberattacks an opportunity to expend their terror.Traditionally terrorist acts target a specific location and are executedprecisely in this spot. The limit of technology helped made it a lot easier todetect some if not most domestic and international terror plots that unfoldwithin our Nation. This has been a limit of the damage inflicted upon thosethe perpetrator hopes to influence and the general public.A prime example of this is the terrorist group named ISIS. ISIS wasable to use the advancement of technology to consistently cause havocWorldwide. But most of their threats are to the American government andwith the success of technology they are able to influence a massiveaudience and engage in more terror activities. This playing field has grownenormously to what could be conceived as boundless proportions.”Individuals or groups can now use Cyberspace to threaten Internationalgovernments, or terrorize the citizens of a country” (Conklin andShoemaker,2011). The creation of a boundless area of attack makes it thatmuch harder to determine where an act will be taken. Since it is easy tofigure out that for cyber-terrorism to occur computers need to be accessibleto the groups or individuals committing acts, why not restrict who can usecomputers? This has actually been considered but would be rather difficultto do in today’s world. America depends on computers a lot more thanbefore. We are not alone in this dependency, more and more of globalbusiness and personal activities are conducted via the Internet.The FBI is making valuable efforts to ensure Cyberterrorism islimited. Chairman Carper of the FBI states “to counter the threats we face,we are engaging in an unprecedented level of collaboration within the U.Sgovernment, with the private sector, and with international lawenforcement” (FBI). In other words, they have formed into one coalitionagainst one common enemy. Before this threat was as serious, all three ofthese sectors would address the problem of Cyberterrorism and Cybercrimeseparately and not together. But instead all three have come together tohelp one another succeed on putting an end towards cyberterrorism. Whilethere are attempts to resolve the problems that Cyberterrorism poses. Someof those efforts have led to either a small decrease in the activities orperpetrator adapting and finding another route to achieve their goal. ArditFerizi is a prime example of how cooperating may benefit againstcyberterrorism.In October 2015, for the first time, the US Justice Department hascharged a suspect for terrorism and hacking. The US Government hascharged a hacker in Malaysia with stealing the data belonging to the USservice members and passing it to the members of the ISIS with the intentto support them in arranging attacks against Western targets. The supremecourt case United States of America V. Ardit Ferizi. Ardit, commonlyreferred to as ‘ Th3Dir3ctorY’ was a citizen of Kosovo. Ardit was sentenceto 20 years in prison for providing material support to the Islamic State ofIraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist organization, and accessing a protectedcomputer without authorization and obtaining information in order toprovide material support to ISIL. Ferizi detained by Malaysian authoritieson a provisional arrest warrant on behalf of the U.S., was charged bycriminal complaint on Oct. 6, 2015. The criminal complaint was unsealed onOct. 15, 2015. Ferizi then agreed to extradition and plead guilty on June 15.According to court documents, Ferizi admitted that on or about June13, 2015, he gained system administrator-level access to a server thathosted the website of a U.S. victim company. The website containeddatabases with personally identifiable information (PII) belonging to tens ofthousands of the victim company’s customers, including members of themilitary and other government personnel. Ferizi subsequently culled the PIIbelonging to U.S. military members and other government personnel, whichtotaled approximately 1,300 individuals. That same day, on June 13, Feriziprovided the PII belonging to the 1,300 U.S. military members andgovernment personnel to Junaid Hussain, a now-deceased ISIL recruiter andattack facilitator. Ferizi and Hussain discussed publishing the PII of those1,300 victims in a hit list(Knappman,2016). Hussain posted a tweet thatcontained a document with the PII of the approximately 1,300 U.S. militaryand other government personnel that Ferizi had taken from the victimcompany and provided to Hussain. This is a perfect example as to how boththe severity of taking care of cybersecurity and also finding alternatives tosolve the problem (Knappman, 2016).This case helped for the first time showcase how real and dangerousnational security cyber threat that result from the combination of terrorismand hacking. Denning stated “This was a wake-up call not only to those ofus in law enforcement, but also to those in private industry” (Denning,).This successful prosecution also sends a message to those around the worldthat, if you provide material support to designated foreign terroristorganizations and assist them with their deadly attack planning, you willhave nowhere to hide. This case demonstrated how the United Statesgovernment will reach half-way around the world if necessary to holdaccountable those who engage in this type of activity. It was the case thathelps set a more serious standpoint towards cyberterrorism and howdamaging it can result into. It was the complete cooperation of multiplesectors that helped with this case. This proves that the most effective way ofcombating cyberterrorism is working together rather than separate. Withcollaboration of the private sector with law enforcement it resulted into agroundbreaking verdict that benefited efforts to stop cyber terrorism andcybercrime.Another landmark case that ensure the protection of cybercrime wasSherya Singhal V. Union of India. It re examined the constitutional validityof “Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and its variousparameters from the perspective of the various principles enshrined in theIndian Constitution”(Knappman,2016). The court declared that sectionunconstitutional reiterating the principle that any provision of law,concerning the real well as virtual world, will have to ensure compliancewith the Indian Constitution. With the rapidly movement of technology Indiaand the United States have ensured that they will take a prominent efforttowards cybersecurity. The Singhal decision helped develop policies thatprotected individuals worldwide against preparators using encryptionthrough computer resources and mobile applications such like WhatsApp.Cyberterrorism has countless negative effects to put one specificproblem over another would not solve the problem. Whether an individual isa direct or indirect victim of a cyber terror attack, he or she can be leftgroping in the dark if no prior preparations impacts of a cyberattack arepretty much the same as any other terror attack on an organization.Although fighting against a highly sophisticated and intelligent cyberterrorism can be a no win situation, it can minimized or even stopped withproper technology, experts, and the willingness to respond to it. However,there are things that can be do not, and with the help of cases similar toUnited States of America V. Ardit Ferizi change is slowly coming. With thecollation group of the American government, Private sectors, and lawenforcement cyber security on the verge of being something we be dealingwith for the next few decade, But with a stronger more greater purposethan before.Reference Page.Conklin, Arthur and Shoemaker (2011). Cybersecurity: The Essential BodyOf Knowledge.MA: Boston.Denning, Dorothy E. (2000).Cyberterrorism. Georgetown Press, MD:Georgetown University.Siegel, Stanley G.(2015)Enterprise Cybersecurity: How to Build aSuccessful Cyber defenseProgram Against Advanced Threats. Hougnton Mifflin Harcourt. MA:Boston.Welcome to FBI.gov. (2016, April 24). Retrieved November 1, 2017, fromhttps://www.fbi.gov/.Knappman Edward W. (2016) Great American Trails. A New EnglandPublishing Associates Book. MI: Detroit.