Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Cyber Terrorism, a Real Menace




It fear is measureless, its impact is great, its target is human race, it exist somewhere around us, but invisible. It may occur anytime anywhere in the world. It has not been experienced even imagined by man of today, in past. It may reshape in any form. Its alarming aspect is to be developed as an ideology. Its intensity of destruction may severe more than devastation, man of our age ever be thought. No man or country obviously favor or supports it but surprisingly it is being faced by every man and every country. It is unfortunately new phenomenon, it is terrorism in the real world or it may be cyber terrorism in cyberspace.


                 To define the cyber terrorism many analysts and internet intellectuals draw the almost same parameters, Mark Pollitte of Federal Bureau of Investigation defines the cyber terrorism as follow;


            Cyber Terrorism is, “the premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs, and data which results in violence against noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents”.


            Computer technology and internet is going to be indispensable part of to-day society and advanced country are becoming more and more dependant and reliant of computer and internet technology. The critics who criticized the John Arquilla who depicted a scenario of mayhem of destruction by cyber terrorism, now are reconsidering their ideas and criticism after the unfortunte terrorist event of 9/11 in USA.


            Cyber terrorism can affect a specific community of people as well as entire nation, the example of Australian man in 2001 would be amplify when he used the internet and stolen control software to release one million liters of raw sewage ino the public park, but his intention was not to terrorise the people but just to get back it job in the concerned company. A more baleful Cyber Terrorism intrigue that was stymied would have occurred sometime in 1996 in London (2003). Members of the Irish Republican Army were planning to blow up and destroy six key electric substations in London. Had the IRA succeeded in their goal, they would have disrupted power to major portions of London for months. To figure out which substations to bomb, they used libraries and open sources of information to select key nodes that would impact the grid the most. This example would have been a terror attack and would have stuck fear into the people of London. This would also be an example of a physical attack on computer systems.


According to The Guardian, “Nato is treating the threat of cyber warfare as seriously as the risk of a missile strike”. If a Governmental Organization like NATO thinks that cyber warfare is that dangerous, then why don’t more people think of it that way. The reason for this could be that the general population of the world does not feel the impact of these cyber terrorist attacks.


Cyber terrorism has been accruing with last twenty years and as time progressed and more and more nations become even more computerized, there will be more and more attacks through internet.


            The measures are available to counter the cyber terrorism as US Department Defense charged with the USSD with duty if combating the cyber terrorism. The sensitive data can be safe and secure by the ‘air tight’ mechanism which has adopted by the FBI successfully. Up to date Antivirus system, firewall and root-kit can play important role to protect the internet and computer system. Intrusion detection system can also help if someone’s network has been attacked. A network also requires VPN’s if they were people accessing network remotely. In the last but not least exemplary punishments and fine should introduce through the laws against the cyber terrorists as the Pakistan has introduce the Prevention of Electronic Crime Ordinance 2007 where Section 17 exemplary punishments has been provided for the cyber terrorists.


            The contemporary world is declared to be a global village, collective efforts of the global nations against this menace to next to this human civilization, can provide potential preventive measures against the cyber criminal and cyber terrorists. The existence of cyber terrorism can not be denied it’s real but it would be blissful for mankind not to record a single exact cyber terrorist event in its history.


(Author is a lawyer of cyber laws in Pakistan)



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