Economic Consequences of Cyber Terrorism

Misuse of Information Technology in Cyber Terrorism
Cyber terrorists misuse information technology, i.e., computers, data communications, hardware, software, peripherals, database, networks, and other devices as weapons for spreading cyber terrorism.

Today, almost every sector of critical infrastructure is networked through computer systems and networks. All the sectors are accessible through the Internet and with the advancement in technologies, vulnerabilities are also increasing. So, more advanced countries are more vulnerable to cyber terrorism.

Terrorist use elements of Information Technology for coordinating their attacks. With the help of Internet members of the terrorist organizations communicate with each other at a very low cost.

Terrorists misuse modern Information Technology for internal communication, coordination, recui4, information gathering, raising funds and spending propaganda. They also spread misinformation through the Internet.

  • Terrorist activities such as hacking computer systems programming viruses and worms, web pages attack, conducting denial of service attacks, or conducting terrorist attacks through electronic communication are facilitated by Information Technology.
  • Terrorists use encryption programs for scrambling their messages. A lot of encryption programs are available for free on the Internet.
  • Terrorists require information for planning and the information can be easily acquired through the Internet, as people are dependent on IT for personal and professional activities.
  • With the help of Information Technology, all the barriers such as time, geographical and structural barriers can be eliminated very easily.

Economic Consequences of Cyber Terrorism

Cyber-terrorist can affect the overall economy of a country by targeting the critical infrastructure, which includes telecommunication sector, food & agriculture sector, energy sector, financial sector, government sector, and health care sector.
Various economic consequences of a cyber attack are as follows :

  • Terrorists can cause economic loss by hacking a financial transaction which involves a huge amount of money because all the transactions are done over the Internet which is not secure.
  • The stock market may react negatively because negative publicity gives the competitors a competitive edge.
  • The Internet is the central element for all the businesses and hence it is exploited by Cyber terrorists.
  • Cyber terrorism attacks made the cost of doing business in the affected region very high as these attacks targeted the Critical Infrastructure and hence cause huge economic losses.
  • Internet shutdown can have a huge impact on various domestic businesses as well as foreign investments.
  • A significant decline is seen in stock prices of targeted companies immediately after the Cyber Terrorism attack.
  • Cyber terrorism attacks also affect the GDP of the country.
  • After cyber terrorism attacks, investors withdraw their investments from the affected country.
  • As mostly all the personal and professional activities are dependent on the Internet nowadays, a block of internet services also causes economic loss.
  • Loss of sales during and after the Cyber Terrorism attacks leads to economic loss.
  • Loss of critical communications in the time of emergency also leads to economic losses.