What is Cyber Terrorism? How is it different from Hacktivism?

<p>The US Federal Bureau of Investigation defines "cyberterrorism" as a deliberate attack on a computer system, computer data, programs, or other material with the express purpose of inflicting violence on clandestine operatives and subnational groups.</p><p>Cyberterrorism is defined as the use of computer technology to commit acts of terrorism. We must first distinguish between "crime" and "terrorism" because they are similar in certain ways, and both attack societies' capacity to maintain internal order.</p><ul class="list"><li><p>Terrorism is "political," whereas crime is "personal".</p></li><li><p>Individuals commit crimes for various reasons, the most significant of which are personal gains and the desire to mentally and/or physically injure others.</p></li><li><p>Terrorism frequently causes "harms" that are similar to those produced by crime (e.g., death, personal injury, property destruction), but the "harms" are done for entirely different purposes.</p></li><li><p>A US statute defines "terrorism" as committing acts that are "crimes" under the law of any country, (ii) intimidating or coercing civilians, influencing government policy through intimidation or coercion, or affecting government conduct through mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.</p></li></ul><p>Cyberterrorism is defined as behavior employing computer or Internet technologies that −</p><ul class="list"><li><p>Is motivated by a religious, political or ideological goal</p></li><li><p>Meant to frighten a government or a segment of the population in various ways</p></li><li><p>Badly disrupts infrastructure</p></li></ul><p>As an example of cyberterrorism, we can cite the case of an Australian guy who hacked into a municipal waste management system in 2000, dumping "millions of gallons of untreated sewage" into parks, rivers, and businesses.</p><h2>Types of Cyber Terrorism</h2><p>The Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California's Center for the Study of Terrorism and Irregular Warfare established three categories of cyber terror capacity in 1999 −</p><ul class="list"><li><p><strong>Simple-Unstructured</strong> − The ability to do rudimentary hacks on particular systems using tools developed by others. Target analysis, command-and-control, and learning capabilities are all lacking in the organization.</p></li><li><p><strong>Advanced-Structured</strong> − The capacity to carry out more complex assaults against many systems or networks, as well as the ability to alter or construct fundamental hacking tools. The organization has basic competence in target analysis, command, and control, and learning.</p></li><li><p><strong>Complex-Coordinated</strong> − The capacity to launch a coordinated attack against integrated, diverse defenses that can cause widespread disruption (including cryptography). The ability to design advanced hacking tools. Target analysis, command-and-control, and organizational learning capabilities are all quite strong.</p></li></ul><h2>Purpose of Cyber Terrorism</h2><p>To fully comprehend what cyberterrorism might – and will – entail, we must consider how terrorists can use computer technology to frighten or force civilians, therefore jeopardizing a society's capacity to maintain internal order. Its application for this purpose can be classified as a weapon of mass destruction, a weapon of mass distraction, or a weapon of mass disruption.</p><p><strong>Mass Destruction</strong></p><p>The idea that computer technology can be utilized as a weapon of mass devastation is founded on a false premise: that computers can be used alone to inflict the type of humiliating slaughter seen on 9/11 and in Madrid on 11/3. Computers can be used to initiate forces that result in physical harm.</p><p>Cyberterrorists may destroy the systems that regulate a nuclear power station and produce an explosion similar to the one that occurred at the Chornobyl facility in 1986 instead of hacking a municipal waste management system for vengeance.</p><p>Cyberterrorists might exploit the subsequent disease, death, and radioactive pollution by claiming responsibility for the disaster, undermining residents' trust in their government's capacity to protect them by preserving order. This is a plausible terrorist scenario, but not the one using cyber-terrorism.</p><p>The explosion would be triggered by computer technology, but the victims would remember it as a nuclear disaster, not a computer disaster. Computer technology plays an accidental part in the conduct of a terrorist attack in this scenario, as it does in the previous computer as a weapon of mass destruction situations; the computer only serves as a detonator. Because cars were utilized to convey the explosives to the target sites, labeling this scenario as cyberterrorism is as improper as describing the 1998 Al-Qaeda U.S. embassy bombings as automotive terrorism.</p><p><strong>Mass Distraction</strong></p><p>This is both a hypothetical and a plausible scenario. Here, computer technology plays a key, vital part in the commission of a terrorist attack: a terrorist act that varies from the real-world terrorism to which we are used in fundamental aspects.</p><p>The use of computer technology to psychologically influence a civilian population weakens civilian morale by eroding individuals' trust in the efficiency of their government. Personal harm, death, and property devastation can all occur as a result of manipulation, depending on the sort of manipulation used.</p><p>Terrorists hacked into the government's computer system and transmitted plausible, phony communications to local authorities, who trusted them. As a result, the terrorists cause harm, death, and devastation while also eroding public trust in the government's capacity to protect them.</p><p>Computer technology is largely employed for psychological manipulation in these and other computer-as-weapon-of-mass-distraction situations. The point is that neither scenario includes the use of real-world weaponry; the terrorists' sole tool is a computer.</p><p><strong>Mass Disruption</strong></p><p>Terrorists hope to undermine a civilian population's faith in the stability and reliability of infrastructure components such as mass transit, electrical and other power supplies, communications, financial institutions, and vital services such as health care by using computer technology as a weapon of mass disruption.</p><p>Both the weapon-of-mass-disruption and weapon-of-mass-distraction options aim to undermine citizen trust in critical areas of society. However,they differ in how computer technology is utilized to undermine public trust in society's infrastructure and institutions.</p><p>Terrorists conduct a psychological attack when they employ computer technology as a weapon of mass distraction; their objective is to erode citizens' trust in one or more of the systems they rely on for crucial products and services. They achieve this by convincing citizens that a system has been hacked and is no longer operating properly. Terrorists do not genuinely disrupt the system; their purpose is to cause psychological harm rather than structural harm.</p><h2>Cyber Terrorism Vs Hacktivism</h2><p>The following table highlights how Cyber Terrorism is different from Hacktivism −</p><table class="table table-bordered"><thead><tr><th style="text-align: center;">Hacktivism</th><th style="text-align: center;">Cyber Terrorism</th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>When political or social activists utilize computer technology to make a statement in support of one of their causes, this is known as hacktivism.</td><td>An intentional attack on a computer system, computer data, programmes, or other things with the sole intent of causing harm.</td></tr><tr><td>Hacktivism is the peaceful application of unlawful or legally unclear digital tools for political purposes.</td><td>Cyberterrorism is defined as illegal attacks on information, computer systems, programmes, and data that result in harm against non-combatants.</td></tr><tr><td>Combining political activity with hacking tools to participate in a new type of civil disobedience</td><td>Combining the use of cyber technology and terrorism to carry out terrorist operations in cyberspace</td></tr><tr><td>A hacktivist is someone who uses computers to promote political ideologies.</td><td>A cyber terrorist is someone who strives to harm digital infrastructure.</td></tr><tr><td>It may also be seen as providing social awareness to achieve a certain aim.</td><td>Governments, financial institutions, utilities, and other emergency response limits are all included.</td></tr><tr><td>They just collect data for a certain purpose.</td><td>They utilize cyber-attacks to ruin or impair society's services.</td></tr><tr><td>Carried out by a group of activists.</td><td>Carried out either by individuals or as a group(mostly terrorist associations)</td></tr></tbody></table>