Computer Crime Research Center


Cyberterrorism: concept, terms, counteraction

Date: August 31, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Vladimir Golubev

... high-skilled intelligence. The work of law enforcement and armed forces is also important here. We absolutely need means to prevent high tech and cybernetic terror.

Computer crime and cyberterrorism represent a special social national and international danger. Owing to this threat, they are a particular measure of terrorist activity with specific causal base; we will need special actions to fight and control this activity. A single person or groups of people may commit such criminal activity, like any other. Nevertheless main players in cyberterrorism are organized criminal groups, criminal societies and national/transnational criminal organizations[11].

Terrorism threats can be neutralized by consolidation of efforts of the whole international community to liquidate economic and ideological roots of this phenomenon. In the meanwhile, the efficiency of cooperation within the international antiterrorist coalition is far from being perfect.

Prevention and suppression of cybercrime and cyberterrorism represent a complex problem. Nowadays laws should meet requirements of the present level of technological development. It is necessary to carry out purposeful work to unify and improve national laws regulating information distribution in public communication networks. Management of cooperation and coordination of efforts of law enforcement, special services and judicial system, and supplying material and technical basis are the priority directions as well.

Since computer terrorism has already become real, it is necessary to legislatively fix the obligation of governmental and private institutions to take technical measures assuring protection of computer networks as the most vulnerable component.

The question of control of information distributed throughout the Internet remains topical. It is necessary to elaborate a system of criteria of the Internet sources promulgating xenophobia, racial and religious intolerance, and to create a list of such sources in order to coordinate efforts directed at their further suppression on this basis. The given problem bears complex and all-round character. On the one hand, it is obvious that information right is the milestone of a free society. On the other hand, it's not a secret that terrorists use rights and liberties granted by the modern society. The necessity of suppression of terrorist activities on the Internet raised the question that special services should legally monitor cyber space and take measures to deter terrorist activities on the Web.

According to Alexei Chistyakov, Head of the World Anticriminal and Antiterrorist Forum in Ukraine, it is necessary to change approaches to fight terrorism. This fight is mainly entrusted to special services that simultaneously carry out intelligence and counter-intelligence activities, he said. The fight against terrorism, including one of its forms - cyberterrorism, should become the prior function of all law enforcement and other corresponding authorized bodies, he added[12].

Such scaled task will require a lot of time and money. However, the reality is such that whether the country exists or not is defined by its ability to efficiently and opportunely respond to internal challenges. Therein, the question of creating an effective system to counteract to computer terrorism is, actually, a question of the country's survival under modern conditions. Of course, it is impossible to cover the whole specifics of cyberterrorism in one article, and all the more to expand all related problems, including definition of concepts and elaboration of the united definition internationally and also coordinated measures to counteract to this phenomenon. Thus and so, comprehension of the problems of cyberterrorism, elaboration of conceptual basis and, above all, criteria of definition of this dangerous phenomenon are the priority ways to fight high tech terrorism and its dangerous kind - cyberterrorism.

[1] I. Mikheev, Terrorism: concept, responsibility, prevention. -
[2] Treaty of CIS countries on cooperation to fight terrorism, dated July 4, 1999. Collection of statutory acts regulating cooperation of CIS countries to fight crime, 2nd publication. CIS Executive Committee, Minsk, 2001. - p.98.
[3] Strategic Goal One: Keep America Safe by Enforcing Federal Criminal Laws (Fiscal Year 2000 Performance Report and Fiscal Year 2002 Performance Plan. - , P. 25.
[4] Michael Whine. Cyberspace: A New Medium for Communication, Command and Control by Extremists. -
[5] V. Vasiliev, Psychology of terrorism, Modern terrorism: state and perspective, edited by E. Stepanova, Editrorial URSS, 2000. - p.178.
[6] Dorothy E. Denning. Activism, Hacktivism, and Cyberterrorism: The Internet as a Tool for Influencing Foreign Policy. -
[7] "European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism" dated January 27, 1977. -
[8] Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest, 23.XI.2001). -
[9] V. Golubev, Cyberterrorism - a threat to national security. -
[10] V. Golubev, T. Saytarly, Problems of fighting cyberterrorism in modern conditions. -
[11] V. Golubev, Organizational legal aspects of counteraction to computer terrorism. - Entrepreneurship, state and law, Scientific practical magazine, Kyiv, 2004, #7, p.121-124.
[12] Alexei Chistyakov, Manifestations of terrorism in the country could be minimized. -

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