What is Cyber Terrorism? Factors of Cyber Terrorism

Cyber terrorism denotes unlawful attacks and threats of attack against, computers, networks, and information stored therein to intimidate or coerce a government or its people for propagating hidden political or unlawful social and religious agendas.

What is Cyber Terrorism?

Cyber terrorism is simply the use of computers and the Internet connectivity between them in order to launch a terrorist attack. In short, cyber terrorism is just like other forms terrorism- it is only the milieu of the attack that has changed. Clearly, the loss of life due to a cyber-attack would be much less than that of a bombing. In fact, it is highly likely that there would be no loss of life at all.

However, significant economic damage, disruptions in communications, disruptions in supply lines and general degradation of the national infrastructure are all quite possible via the Internet.

Cyber terrorism is a cybercriminal activity in which the Internet is utilized to commit deliberate large scale disruption of computer networks. Cyber terrorism can be defined as any computer crime which targets a computer network, property or lives.

Cyber terrorism

Cyber terrorism acts us tactics to cause fear and panic in the targets of victims. Their activities range from hacking into computers, spreading viruses to obtain information illegally as well as destroying or damaging computer networks.

The National Conference of State Legislature defines cyber terrorism as “the use of information technology by terrorist groups and individuals to further their agenda.

This can include the use of information technology to organize and execute attacks against networks, computer systems, and telecommunication infrastructure, or for exchanging information or making threat electronically.

Examples of Cyber Terrorism

  • International cyber terrorists could try to access and disable or modify the signals that control military technology.
  • Foreign governments may use hackers to spy on U.S. intelligence communication in order to learn about where our troops are located or otherwise gain a tactical advantage at war.
  • Global terror networks may disrupt a major website, in order to create a public nuisance or inconvenience or even more seriously try to stop traffic to a website publishing content with which they disagree.
  • Domestic cyber terrorists may break into the private servers of a corporation in order to access trade secrets, steal banking information or even the private data of their employees.

Factors Contributing to the Existence of Cyber Terrorism

Advancements and innovations in technologies have given rise to cyber attacks of which cyber terrorism is the most dangerous attack. These advancements have benefitted the society a lot by revolutionizing the personal and professional lives of people but indirectly and unknowingly these advancements have benefitted the terrorists also.

Factors which contribute to the existence of cyber terrorism or factors that attract terrorists to cyberspace are the following:

  1. Less Expensive
  2. Ease of Internet
  3. Anonymous Nature of Internet
  4. Low Barriers
  5. Misuse of Global Information Infrastructure
  6. Boundary-less Cyberspace
  7. Limited Legal Jurisdiction
  8. Loopholes in the Cyber Security System
  9. Vast Cyberspace
  10. Obsoleteness of Security Tools


  1. Less Expensive
    Cyber terrorism activities are less expensive to perform and less dangerous than traditional terrorism activity. Very few resources are required for committing cyber terrorism attacks.
  2. Ease of Internet
    Cyber terrorism activities are committed via the Internet. Due to easy availability and accessibility of the Internet, it becomes very easy to perform cyber terrorism activities. Advanced technologies can be easily misused by the terrorists.
  3. Anonymous Nature of Internet
    Due to the anonymous nature of the Internet, it becomes very difficult to find out or locate the cyber terrorists. Terrorists can easily create false identities on the Internet, and it becomes very difficult to determine the real identities of the terrorist.
  4. Low Barriers
    Low barriers to entry in cyberspace allow anyone to use the facilities of cyberspace for committing terrorist attacks.
  5. Misuse of Global Information Infrastructure
    Nowadays, societies are using the Global Information Infrastructure facilities for personal and professional activities such as banking, data storage etc. These facilities are available for everyone. The terrorists are misusing the capabilities of these technologies.
  6. Boundaryless Cyberspace
    Cyberspace is boundary-less, attacks can be made from a remote location or multiple remote locations simultaneously. Cyberspace terrorism can be conducted remotely; this feature is especially appealing to terrorists
  7. Limited legal Jurisdiction
    Most Internet crimes take place across international borders. Law enforcement agencies are always limited to jurisdiction boundaries.
  8. Loopholes in the Cyber Security System
    Cybersecurity refers to the policies and procedures which are made to ensure the security of computers, networks, data, information and other computer-related resources in cyberspace from the unauthorized access and malicious program and other attacks transported through the Internet.
  9. Vast Cyberspace
    All the sectors of critical infrastructure such as government sector, military sector, energy sector, corporations, financial institutions, hospitals, and other businesses collect, process and store a great deal of confidential information on computers and transmit that information across networks to other computers.
  10. Obsoleteness of Security Tools
    Due to the rapid advancement in technology, software, modules, and tools need rapid upgradation, if not upgraded; the system becomes vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Also Read:-

What do you mean by e-commerce?

Why is e-commerce important? 

What are the functions of e-commerce?

Advantages and Disadvantages of E-commerce 

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