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US - "a target number one" for cyberterrorists

By Timofey Saytarly
Date: July 22, 2003

Stop Cyberterrorism US Congress have passed the antiterrorist Law known as "Act of 2001" in six weeks after terrorist attacks to New York and Washington on September, 11, 2001. This law has expanded definition of the term "terrorism"^; it has created legislative concept of "cyberterrorism" and has related various forms of hacking, as well as damaging of the computer networks of citizens, juridical persons and the state departments(article 814).

Today Americans quite seriously fear to become a victim of "Cyber Pearl Harbour". The most developed country has become the most vulnerable and attractive target for cyberterrorists.

So, Englishman Nicholas Anderson, having "cracked" US Navy network, has stolen confidential passwords, including the codes used at nuclear attacks. German Hess Lunder has managed to penetrate into a database of the Pentagon - network 涡󛡋. Having cracked it, he has got access to 29 documents on the nuclear weapon.

The 16-years programmer from Florida has stolen the software of NASA in cost $ 1,7 million intended for the International space station. NASA has spent $ 41 000 for regeneration. The malefactor has been caught at attempt to penetrate into systems of the Ministry of Defence. American Eric Burns has cracked a web-site of White House, then, in November, 1999 he was condemned to 3 years of imprisonment, 3 years of surveillance and $ 36 000 penalty.

According to experts, the US's federal ministries and departments spend more than $ 38 billion for development of information systems and networks while annual losses from crimes related to computers make about 5 billion dollars.

Experts believe, that terrorists will hardly manage to make something similar to September, 11 once again. However nobody can guarantee, that terrorists will not find several hackers, capable to strike US infrastructure in its most vulnerable points?

Not only US is under the threat. However, US is "a target number one" for cyberterrorists because of the total computerization.

Computer Crime Research Center

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