Computer Crime Research Center

How real is the threat of cyber terrorism?

Date: November 15, 2004
Source: mi2g Intelligence Unit

... local human intelligence across the globe is essential. What is going on in cyber cafes in radical breeding grounds across the globe needs to be permanently watched. The expertise of the very few available people who are proficient in the technologies of counter-cyber warfare needs to be utilised to train the counter-attack-forces through the establishment of a national centre of excellence for digital defence. Nothing significant can be achieved without this cohesive sharing capability being made available to the future counter-attack-forces, who would be able to ensure reliability, availability, maintainability and scalability of SME systems in the event of complex hacker and malware attacks.


"mi2g believes that we have entered an era of sustained digital attacks from radicals, criminals and zealots, who will be difficult to contain and to deal with at the consumer and small to medium size enterprise level in the 21st Century. The roll out of 'always on' full broadband and wireless connectivity tilts the balance further against the innocent citizens and corporations. In the years to come, government intervention to deal with cyber warfare is imperative. It is no longer a question of if but when," said DK Matai, Executive Chairman, mi2g.

"It is unlikely that governments are going to remain oblivious to the challenge of daily digital attacks on their citizens and their livelihoods given the billions of Dollars of damage being caused to digital commerce, productivity, intellectual property and employed capital. Organised crime syndicates embarking on identity theft, elaborate scams and financial fraud have now become rampant. As knowledge management based authentication systems proliferate both at airports and digital commerce sites, digital identity theft levers are going to be exercised by future criminals."

The sophistication of would be cyber terrorism groups has been rising significantly since 2002 as they have embarked on detailed digital surveillance and reconnaissance of economic targets within financial services, manufacturing, transport and utilities. However, the present threat level of a terrorist digital attack that causes severe loss of life is still low to medium but likely to rise in profile to medium and then to high, in the coming three to five year horizon.


mi2g is at the leading edge of building secure on-line banking, broking and trading architectures. The principal applications of our technology are:

1. D2-Banking;
2. Digital Risk Management; and
3. Bespoke Security Architecture.

mi2g pioneers enterprise-wide security practices and technology to save time and cut cost. We enhance comparative advantage within financial services and government agencies. Our real time intelligence is deployed worldwide for
contingency capability, executive decision making and strategic threat assessment.

The October 2004 SIPS report is now available and can be ordered from here. mi2g Research Methodology: The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) List is available from here in pdf. Please note terms and conditions of use listed on

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