International Cyber Terrorism – The Case For an Aggressive Offence

International Cyber Terrorism – The Case For an Aggressive Offence


The War on Cyber Terrorism

America is at war and the latest front is the war on Cyber Terrorism. The internet and associated networks has been under attack from many sectors including hackers, disgruntled employees, financial fraud perpetrators  , cyber criminals and now state sponsored cyber terrorists.

What started out as a small number of annoying viruse s, malware, Trojan horses and worms have now blossomed into aggressive attacks on our military and industrial segments. U.S. computer networks are under constant cyber attacks, by direct assaults by remote sites, by probes by hackers and criminal networks and by espionage from foreign countries.

President Barack Obama last year declared that the cyber threat is one of nation’s most serious economic and national security challenges.

While there are rapid developments in the area of defenses against Cyber Terrorism, this article makes the case that a strong offensive strategy is required as well as comprehensive defensive measures.

International Cyber Terrorism

Recently cyber attacks can be traced to totalitarian regimes that either directly support and encourage or harbor cyber terrorists. While initial attacks from this area have been intermittent and scattered, military bases and the electric grid have been penetrated. The threat to cause significant damage is ever present and growing. Defensive measures, while critically important, are not enough and cyber criminals must be countered with aggressive offensive attacks.

The Strategy Must Include Offense

The concept of defenses against Cyber Terrorism is easier to understand that an offensive strategy because the defensive attack point is easy to identify. The owners or operators of a particular site can identify their own assets that are at risk.

An offensive strategy however must identify the attacker and the amorphous, cross border nature of the internet often shields attackers. Some attackers can hide their toxic programs in legitimate domestic computer installations. In cyberspace it is difficult to deliver an effective response if the attacker’s identity is not known.


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