A Perspective on Internet Security Threats and Dangers Online - 7
- Executive Knowledge Lines
Story Dated: Saturday, May 18, 2013 18:25 hrs IST
Struggle for Information Resources: In absolute terms,Data is resource, Information is power and Knowledge is wealth. Obviously, those who gain control over these entities are likely to gain immensely in terms of power and wealth. The struggle over who controls the information resources has become a conflict in many organizations. In some countries, the fight may be between corporations that seek to use information for competitive advantage and Government (e.g. Microsoft vs. the Justice Dept.). Elsewhere, Governments may seek to hold onto the reins of power by not letting private citizens access some information (e.g. China’s restriction of Internet usage). Information technology grants potential access to data/information directly with ease to anyone who can access the internet and empowers them to handle these resources. When this invincible power gets mixed with the conflicts in human relations it ends up in a potentially dangerous concoction, the end result of which could be unimaginably dangerous to the mankind– giving rise to new forms of international and intranational struggles, wars and terrorism.
Cyberterrorism: A new form of terrorism commonly referred to as Cyberterrorism is threatening the civilized world in which the terrorists use the cyberspace and communication networks for inflicting damages on people and for destroying physical assets and resources.
Cyberterrorism is defined by the Technolytics Institute as ‘The premeditated use of disruptive activities, or the threat thereof, against computers and/or networks, with the intention to cause harm or further social, ideological, religious, political or similar objectives. Or to intimidate any person in furtherance of such objectives.’ The term was coined by Barry C. Collin (CEO of Collin Group Inc.). One of the common methods adopted by the cyberterrorists to perpetuate the crimes is to use malicious softwares like viruses. Examples of cyberterrorist activities may include use of information technology to organize and carry out attacks, support groups activities and perception-management campaigns.
According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, cyberterrorism is any ‘premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs, and data which results in violence against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents’. The acts of hacking can have the same consequences as acts of terrorism but in the legal sense the intentional abuse of the cyberspace must be a part of the terrorist campaign or an action. Unlike a nuisance virus or computer attack that results in a denial of service, a cyberterrorist attack is designed to cause physical violence or extreme financial harm. According to the U.S. Commission of Critical Infrastructure Protection, possible cyberterrorist targets include the banking industry, military installations, power plants, air traffic control centers, and water systems ,. The frightening revelation is that the Cyberterrorists are not going to play the game by any rules.
U.K. has passed legislation allowing one of its intelligence agencies to monitor all phone calls, texts, e – Mails and online activities enabling police and security services to obtain communications data in certain circumstances to investigate serious crimes and terrorism and to protect the public .
Motivation for Different Types of Cyberattacks: See the insert for the motivation behind different types of cyberattacks. The statistics indicate that the majority of attacks are related to hacktivism and cybercrime activities. The data demonstrate a growing trend for cyber warfare attacks but it is expected that they represent only the tip of the iceberg. Distinguishing the origin of attacks is not simple, as in many cases the cybercriminals operate exactly in the same way state-sponsored hackers do, selecting specific sector as privileged target and operating with malware that mainly act in stealthy mode….(Often) cyber criminals operate in the name of business and they steal sensible information to sell them to hostile countries.
State-Sponsored Cyber Attacks and Espionage: Cyber spying or Cyberespionage is the act or practice of obtaining secrets without the permission of the holder of the information (personal, sensitive, proprietary or of classified nature), from individuals, competitors, rivals, groups, Governments and enemies for personal, economic, political or military advantage using methods on the internet, networks or individual computers through the use of cracking techniques and malicious software. Cyberspying typically involves the use of such access to secrets and classified information or control of individual computers or whole networks for a strategic advantage or for political, psychological, physical subversion or sabotage.
 crime-research.org/library/Cyber-terrorism  searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/cyberterrorism  Britain Set for Sweeping Internet, Phone Monitoring, Reuters, April2, 2012  securityaffairs.co/.../state-sponsored-attack-or-not-thats-thequestion.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyber_espionage [Dr H.Ganesh, CA, USA]