Cyber Terrorism Assignment Help
The following paper deals with
all current, foreseeable and emerging threats related to use of networks,
provision of services and data security. In this context, cyber-terrorism is
considered as greatest threat for the business and economy. In regard to this,
the paper first of all provide introduction to the cyber-crime which later
converted into cyber-terrorism. The paper describes how cyber-crime converted
into cyber-terrorism and adversely affected the business and economy.
Cyber-crime is a broader term and includes more issues than just hacking. On
the other hand, cyber-terrorism is related with malicious codes and
cyber-attack. It elaborates that cyber-crime is theft of intellectual property
along with violation of copy-right law, trade secrets and patents whereas
cyber-terrorism is committed with political intentions to harm human life and
Furthermore, the paper includes
section of impact of cyber-terrorism on business and economy which discusses
that most of the organisations consider cyber-terrorism as a greater threat
than any other organisational problem. Along with this, it also discusses that
IT security of many organisations is in vulnerable situation. Moreover, the
paper describes the losses which a business organisation can face due to
cyber-terrorism. These losses include loss of revenue, waste of time, damaged
reputations, impact on employee productivity. Methods of cyber-terrorism
through which business organisations are affected are also described Viruses,
Malicious Code, and Electromagnetic energy.
Moving forward the paper describes
Methods used to overcome from cyber-crime, and Impact of cyber-crime on
economy. Impact of cyber-crime on economy is very crucial section which
elaborates what consequences an economy faces due to cyber-terrorism. In the
end, the paper provides information about counter-measures and international
and Australian law in relation to cyber-terrorism.
The cyber-crime has a huge impact
on the international business and economy. Cyber-crime is a serious threat to
the financial integrity of an organization or a business. Cybercrime can be
defined as an act in which an illegal act is committed by using unauthorized
computer access. The culprit gets access to the computer system authorized for
someone else and does damage to the system and the data stored in it. It can be
said that in this type of crime, computer users steal the credit card numbers,
steal the data from company's websites, withdraw money from bank accounts, and
also make illegal electronic fund transfers. All the above mentioned activities
come under the cyber-crime (Grady and Parisi 2006).
In the current scenario, the number
of cyber-crime or breaches in information security in international business
and the economy is increasing continuously. Both the public and private sectors
are suffering from the cybercrime. The problem of cybercrime not only exists in
a nation or two but the almost all nations in the world are suffering from it.
Cyber criminal are operating in international business with the help of
information technologies and internet. Cybercrime is an emerging crime in
international business and economy. Cybercrime has affected the business like
telecommunications, banking and finance, transportation, electrical energy,
water supply, emergency services, and government services. All these
organizations heavily depend on computers to perform their daily operations and
to secure confidential data.
In business organizations help of
computers is taken to control the business operations, management and to
interact among them. Thus, all the pertinent information of the organization
flows through Internet. It can be said that the internet has become a
significant tool for the cyber criminals (United States. Congress. Senate,
Brief History of Cyber Terrorism
During the past decade, there exists the
cyber security threat in the whole of the world. The evident targets of cyber
terrorism were those systems that were totally dependent on it and were related
to the mass people. Such as infrastructures which include oil and gas
distribution, transportation, tele-communication, electric power grids,
financial institutions, air traffic and so on. In the year 2000 in February
month, popular internet sites such as Yahoo, Datek, Amazon, CNN and many such
sites became the target of the cyber terrorism as they faced the attck of
Distributed Denial of Service (DdoS). Due to this there were million people who
were not able to access the important and necessary services which were
provided by these websites and companies. This resulted in heavy monetary loss.
There was one more loss to these companies which was declination of the
security that was offered and promised by their companies (Bigel and Stuart
2003). The initiation of the cyber attacks can be seen started from the
collision of the Chinese fighter aircraft and American surveilance plane. This
collission gave rise to the cyber attacks and website defacements between
America and China (Keegan & Christopher, 2002). One more example is there
where the students of Korean University defaced the Japanese websites because
they want to protest the contents of the textbooks published in Japan (Bronk
& Chris, 2008).
Impact of Cyber crime on Business
The online cybercrime is increasing
continuously, which resulted in to loss of consumer trust. In early days,
cybercrime is restricted to creating viruses to hack the systems. In the
current scenario, cyber criminals hack the systems to harm the business so that
they can earn profit. A number of organizations have recognized cyber attacks
as a threat to their business. It has been observed that 70 % of the total
business firms have ranked cyber crime as
a threat ahead of other employee
frauds or physical damages to the organization (Doyle, 2011).
In keeping view the increasing threat of
cyber attacks, it is important for the business organizations to tighten their
IT security. In case IT security is not strong enough then the sensitive
information can be leaked or financial data of the company can be stolen which
can cause huge damage to the economy of the organization.
Major Losses for Business
The cybercrime impacts the
business in different ways. The major losses which are suffered by the business
organizations are mentioned below.
Loss of Revenue
The main impact of the cybercrime
on an organization is the financial losses for the organization. The loss can
be caused by cyber criminals by stealing financial information of the
organization. The financial information can be used to make illegal profits
from the organization. It also happens when an organization works on e-commerce
model, in this model the income of the consumers is lost when they are not able
to access the site hijacked by cyber criminals (Kshetri, 2010). According to a
recent survey conducted internationally, the business firms across the globe
suffering from financial losses due to cyber crime. The Hi-tech crime has cost
international economy huge losses in recent years. The tools used by cyber
criminals are sophisticated and businesses and governments are at risks.
Cyber crime is also a factor for
the negative impact on the economy by causing huge financial losses to
organizations. It happens quite often that even after becoming a victim of
cyber crime, organizations do not disclose the issue due to fear of social
reputation. The cyber crime has served as a hinder in the growth of e-business
as people are scared of possible chances of financial losses in the business.
It is revealed by the Australian Internet Industry Association that cyber
criminals do 5 million attacks a day or 2 billion attacks a year (Security Week News, 2011). It can be
concluded that on an average basis cyber criminals or hackers do 35 attacks on
the same organization everyday.
Waste of Time
Another impact of the cyber crime
on business and economy is the waste of precious time. The IT professional in
an organization has to devote great portion of their time in resolving cyber
crime related issues. Instead of working on some productive and innovative
work, the IT department in an organization has to work on handling security
breaches and other issues related with the cybercrime.
Cybercrime can be done at any time
and at any location. Authorities charged with investigating it need to spend
more time and effort as compared to traditional crimes. It consumes more time
to locate and to detect the cyber criminals. For example, the police and other
security personnel need to spend time on to find out electronic evidences and
also need to deal with cross border issues in tracing suspected cyber
criminals. The risk of cyber crime has become a global issue and is now
affecting economies of almost all countries.
In a survey conducted in Australia, 67% of the respondents said that
they have been the victim of the cyber crime in recent time (Coleman,
The cyber crime also results into
harm to the public reputation of the company. In case hackers get access to the
confidential data of consumers associated with an organization, the company
loses their trusts for the future association. In this situation, consumers
start looking for other available alternates, hence the company losses the
businesses. It is both legal and ethical liability of any organization to
protect the financial and other details of consumers (Lister, 2011).
Impact on Employee Productivity
Organizations most often take
certain implements some procedures to prevent the incidents of cybercrime.
Employees are expected to follow procedures that are essential to prevent
cybercrime. In this process the precious time of employees is consumed in
following these procedures. The amount of time consumed in following these
steps would have been used by employees in performing some productive work.
Methods Used by Cyber Criminals
to Target Business Organizations
The Cyber criminals use a number of
tools to breach the security system of organizations. It is extremely important
to understand the various methods used for cyber-crime in business
organizations. A few of the methods used in cyber crime are discussed below.
A computer virus can be described
as any computer program which is capable of damaging a computer that is replicable.
The most of organizations in the world are facing the problem of computer
viruses. It has been revealed that in current scenario cyber criminals most
frequently use Trojan horses to detect and spy.
Trojans are the harmful programs that look like legal software. In fact,
it is used for hijack and harms the computer functions in an business
organization. Trojans not only harm computers but they also used for some other
harmful purposes by cyber criminals. Most of Trojans are equipped with spy ware
which is used by cyber criminals to log key strokes, to steal sensitive
information of organizations or to get the remote access of the victim's
computer (Wilson, 2008).
Usually Trojans do not get
dispersed into computer systems without external control. This quality of
Trojans encourages cyber criminals to target business organizations via email.
These e-mails are sent to the employees systems in organizations. These spam
e-mails contain infected attachment or a website link. As soon as employees
click on these attachments, it downloads malicious code into employees’
The spam mails also have some other
threats to users’ computer. Another example of bogus e-mail is phishing.
Phishing is bogus e-mails that ask users to share their confidential data. It
has been observed that one-fifth of computer users receive around 5 phishing
e-mails on daily basis. Phishing e-mails are most often sending to the
consumers of an organization. In case consumers share their confidential
information in the -email, then there are more chance of them to be victim of
cyber crime. Phishing e-mails also damage the public image of an organization.
In case of phishing, users’
willingness is required to get the users details. Cyber criminals can also
hijack computers gains the wish of users. This tactic turns computers into Zombie
machine which has the ability to send millions of mails rapidly. In a recent
case in Australia, a person creates a Zombie network of 50, 000 computers that
resulted into damage of $ 135,000 in a hospital. Computers in the hospital were
damaged and including those which were located in the intensive care unit of
the hospital. As a result of this, the medical care for patients suffered
badly. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is one more form computer
hijacking. A number of well known websites like Ebay, Yahoo, Microsoft, and CNN
have become victims of cyber crimes (Coleman, 2003).
Malicious code is the new
Internet threat that cannot be easily controlled by any antivirus. Malicious
code is the auto-executable programs which cause damage to the computer system.
They take the form of java applets, ActiveX controls, scripting languages,
browser plug-ins, and pushed content. If once the malicious code enters the
workstation or the network drivers, they can cause damage to it by causing
network and mail server overloaded with the email, messages, passwords,
document files, steal the data or it can also reformat the files (Lister,
2011). Cyber-criminals create the malicious code to create the cyber-attack or
the computer network attack.
These codes can also generate the
malicious packets that could disturb the data and the logic by exploiting into
the computer software. It can also weaken the security practices of the
organization. This cyber-attack disrupt the reliability of the equipments used
in companies and can create the threat on the integrity of the data and
confidentiality to the communication network.
Electromagnetic energy is the
severe threat to the national security it can be created by two ways; either
overheating nuclear burst or the other is microwave emission. It interfaces
with the radio frequency and damage the voltage or current in the electronic
devices. If the electronic devices are connected with the metal, that could be
antenna, its effectiveness increases.
As infrastructure computer system
is interconnected, there is a possibility that it could disrupt the power grid,
communication, equipments in hospitals or military communication system.
Electro magnetic energy is in the form of electromagnetic pulses, which is the
severe threat to the cyber attack, which directly affects the computer
equipment or data transmissions by overheating the circuit, jam the
communications, create a mark on the reliability of the equipment and integrity
of the data.
Impact of cyber-crime on economy
Cyber crime is growing at the
rapid scale in the international economy and affecting many business
organization and economies every day. One attack on the corporation could have
many implications on that company; it can lead to financial loss, stock loss,
money loss of customers and stockholders. Cyber-crime has affected the global
economy, costing billions of dollars. In 2003, USA was affected by cyber-crime
at 35.4% and South Korea at 12.8%. Several consulting firms have faced
financial loss between $13 and $226 billion, due to viruses, worm attacks and
other attacks (Wilson, 2005).
In the context of the impact of the
cyber-terrorism, economies of the countries are greatly influenced. To speed up
communication process, many international terrorist groups are using computer
networks and internet. Along with this, these groups are developing their
technical skills for harming the computer networks of the enemy countries. With
the intention of harming the economy of any country, these groups target the
computer networks of government agencies and civilian critical infrastructure.
All the secret information and records are kept in the computer based system
which is targeted to disrupt the entire economy. Recently, Pentagon which
secret military centre of the US is attacked by the cyber criminals and entire
system was damaged as well as secret information was leaked. In addition to
this, when such precious information related to government, military or
economic activities leaks in international market then it can deteriorate the
image of the country (Wilson, 2008).
Till date, no economy in the world
faced coordinated cyber-attack on its computer network therefore most of the
experts argue that cyber-terrorism is not as big threat as biological, chemical
and nuclear. Along with this, it is difficult for terrorists to give physical
threat to the civilians but as a whole national security of any country can be
at stake. When national security is at stake then economic growth of the
country is also adversely affected. Economy is based on well-being as well as
hard-core efforts of the citizens of any country and if they are not able to
put in their best efforts then surely economy will be hurt (Coleman, 2003).
Results of cyber-terrorism are
disruptive and destructive as it damages the computerised critical
infrastructure by destroying the electric power grid, telecommunications and
internet. Today every sector of economy whether it is manufacturing, service or
agriculture is completely based on computer technology and internet and if this
system is harmed these sectors of the economy are also directly harmed which,
in turn, adversely affect the economy (Security Week News, 2011). Output of these
sectors will constantly go down if support of computerised technology is not
available for them and the economy slip down in the international market.
Computers are used as target or weapons by the politically motivated
international or sub-national terrorist groups for spreading fear among the
general public to influence the government for changing their policies.
Survey Data on Cyber-crime
As per the survey conducted by
the computer security institute and Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) in 2003 on
computer crime, 530 U.S firms share their experience of facing computer crime.
There is no standard methodology to measure the cost of cyber-attacks or crime.
Investigations of stock prices show that target firms suffer losses of 1%-5% in
few days after the attack. The shareholder lost between $50 million and $200
million because of drop in the prices at New York Stock Exchange. Computer
security consulting firms suffer a substantial loss due to the virus and worm
attacks and digital attacks. In 2003, the firms lost from $13 million (worms
and viruses only) to $226 (for all forms of overt attacks) (Cashell, Jackson,
Jickling and Webel, 2004).
The insurance industry has also
become active to cover the losses from cyber crimes. Earlier, companies did not
include cyber attacks from standard business insurance coverage. Several
insurers started to sell specialised cyber-risk policies after the initial
The sizes of the firm decide the
vulnerability towards the attacks. Conventional firms Refereed to as Brick and
Mortar are least affected by the Cyber attacks as they are least dependent on
the Internet (Kshetri, 2010). The firms characterized by “: click and mortar”
are most affected by the attacks as they conduct business offline and over the
IT security spending
With the increase in the cases of
hacking and cyber-crime, greatest economies of the world along with
international business organisations are increasing their spending on IT
security. It is very difficult to measure the level of risk associated with
attacks on the cyber space of any economy hence they simply raise their
security spending for ensuring full-proof security. The high budget of IT
security is unnecessary burden on the economy of any country which can be spent
on any other infrastructure related activity (Doyle, 2011). Along with this,
worth of this budget cannot be measured by any of the financial technique like
cost-benefit analysis and return on investment (ROI). Therefore, corporate
investment policies are also adversely affected by cyber-terrorism. There are various products available which
ensure the security of the computerised system which is very expensive for any
Macroeconomic Consequences of the
Computers make major contribution
in economic activities by increasing the productivity statistics. During the
period of 1980s and 1990s, computer industry took a step towards growth but its
contribution in economy is negligible. When in the decade of 1990,
international economy was accelerated in the productivity growth then
contribution of computer industry cannot be ignored. Level of innovation in the
memory and speed of the computer also increased which, in turn, increases the
acceptance of the computers in the various sectors of the economy (United
States. Congress. Senate, 2010).
Along with this, prices of the
computers also went down hence small business organisations also implemented
computerised systems in their organisations. Though, computerised system was
contributing in cost reduction and speeding up the production activities yet it
also increased system's vulnerability. Now the entire system of the economy can
easily fall prey to the hackers. These hackers somehow linked with terrorist
groups and target the computer based system to fulfil their political motives.
Thus, it can be said that benefits of the computers increased the acceptance of
the computers in the economy yet came along with various threats like unwanted
access to private and confidential information (Grady and Parisi 2006).
Methods used to overcome from
To protect the computer system
and the network are the greatest challenge of the nations and the corporate,
business organization. There are few methods of overcoming from the
cyber-crime, such as, reducing the surface area, adequate protection,
firewalls, content filtering, intrusion prevention system, patch management
system and penetration testing and security audit (Wilson, 2008).
Reducing the surface area
The organization could adopt the
simple security rather than complex security, as complex security cost more to
the organization and they could be easily understood. It is true that simple
security do not easily become prey to the cyber-attacks.
The organization should adopt the
modern equipments which could provide security solutions to prevent from the
Internet attacks. These solutions also cope up with the worms and hackers.
Firewall is the best security
solution, which covers the vulnerable services, which are not exposed to the
aggressive networks, such as, internet. Firewall can protect the system from
the opportunistic attacks and could limit the attackers. Firewall minimizes the
exposure and allows the administrator to focus on the security of various parts
of the network.
Content filters protect the
computer from the viruses by providing the content filter solutions for email,
which scans the attachments through anti-virus. It also helps the
administrators to detect and block the attacks. Content filters solutions list
them executable programs according to their functionality and match them with
their signature to identify the attributes of the malicious code and block that
code. Filters add the extra layer of protection against virus.
Intrusion prevention systems
Administrators detect and block
the attacks, with the help of intrusion prevention system. This system does not
prevent the attacks rather they stop the attacks by exploring the
vulnerabilities. Different types of intrusion prevention systems are present in
the market, like, Snort Inline, which is network and host based, another is
Microsoft’s DEP introduced with Windows 2003 and XP SP2 (Shalhoub and Qasimi,
Patch management systems
Patch management systems are
extremely useful in a corporate environment and at homes, by installing the
patch into the system can stop the intrusions which occur due to software bugs.
Penetration testing and security
To test the security of the
computer system, it is essential to conduct the penetration testing. This test
is usually performed by the professional or white-hat hackers, which gives the
proof that the computer system could be hacked or not. A professional could
attack the client system; therefore, it is crucial that the security of the
system should be check from time to time, by conducting the penetration test.
Penetration tester must identify about the targets in the system on which the
attack could be done, by this way, the tester could apply the check system. A
report should be generated by the organization about the test performed and
security issues should also be highlighted.
Counter Measures for Cyber
At the present time there are no
foolproof ways to counter measure cyber terrorism and to protect the systems or
businesses and economy. The people who
are doing businesses have adopted the system of keeping all their data bases on
the computers. There several branches are interconnected with the intranet and
in such a case if the system gets attacked by the cyber terrorists, then their
business will suffer a lot not only in the present time but in the future also.
People who avail their services will have the feeling that this particular
organisation does not pay attention on the customer services and then they will
switch to some other service provider competitor of the company. Therefore
companies adopt a measure of encryption which is very common measure. But the
government of some countries banned the use of encryption for the purpose of
exportation especially and that is why the communication at the international
and intercontinental level was very insecure. The Clinton government and FBI
opposed the exportation of encryption technique so that the government can get
the key to the encrypted system after the approval of the court order. FBI
stated that the internet is a real threat for the security of the people and
that it is the duty of the internet police to protect people's privacy and
their right to safety from this threat (Om & Parmar, 2010).
Some people also promoted the use
of firewalls so that all the communication to
a system can be screened in which the e-mail messages are also included
because e-mails can carry logic bombs also. The system of firewall is a term
that is used for the filtering the access to the other networks. Firewalls can
be in the form of router or computer or other communication devices which may
be in the form of a network configuration. The use of firewalls helps in
defining the services and access which are permitted or allowed to every
individual user (Om & Parmar, 2010).
One more method to check the
security threats is to screen the requests of the users so that it can be
checked that whether the request has come from the previously defined domain or
any IP address. Some more methods are there which should be remembered to get
protection from cyber terrorism. These methods are as follows-
there must be a password secured
access to all the accounts. It should also be kept in mind that the password
should be unusual and that it is not easy to guess the password.
If the defects in the network
configuration are known then the network should be changed.
There should be some check logs
and edit systems so that the intruder can be easily traced or detected.
It is recommended to the users
that if they are not sure about the safety of the site or they receive any kind
of mail which seems suspicious to them and which is from an unknown address
they should not access the website because it can be troublesome for them to
use such unauthenticated website (Om & Parmar, 2010).
Cyber terrorism and Australian
There are several anti terrorism
acts passed in Australia. Under the Australian law, the companies and
individuals are obliged to ensure that the information that they make available
on the internet must not be like that can be used further for the mass
destruction program. The above obligation comes under the Weapons of Mass
Destruvtion (WMD) which is also known as Prevention of Proliferation Act 1995.
it is mentioned under this act that if any goods or services are supplied in or
outside Australia, or any goods or technology is exported outside Australia,
which do not fall in any other category of the legislation or the services
provision of Australia or the services provisions outside Australia, where it
comes to a suspicious that these goods or services or technology may assist a
WMD program (Ellsmore, 2002).
However, this kind of situation is
not very likely to be seen in the day to day business activities. Australian
department of defence has given some examples explaining their point-if a
delegation of the foreign company has come to visit Australia for the sole
purpose of buying some complicated computer equipments and the equipments that
they purchased were of very high technical capabilities which are very helpful
in the advance simulation and modelling
technique in the computers and if these techniques are also likely to be used
in the nuclear or biological or chemical research then it would be harmful for
the nation and it will also go against the law (Ellsmore, 2002).
From the analysis of the above
study about the cyber terrorism and its impact on the business and economy, it
can be said that it is one of the worst threats to business and ecnomy in
today's time as it cannot be seen directly that who is attacking and in what
form the terrorist is attacking. In such a case it is important that some laws
should be made like made by the Australian government that if a person or
organisation is transferring any data on the internet it should be taken care
that cannot be used in the mass destruction. Apart from this, some measures
should be adopted such as firewall, security passwords, encryption of data etc
to avoid cyber security threat. With the help of these measures the business
organizations and economies would be helped to survive in a secured