Computer Crime Research Center


Cyberterrorism: terrorism of the 21st century

Date: August 06, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Vladimir Golubev

Information on new scaled terrorist attacks being prepared caused the necessity of urgent security measures to be undertaken.

According to the CIA, Al Qaeda, as earlier, will try to prepare terrorists' acts with more casualties than ever. Al Qaeda and the other terrorists' movements will utilize leakages of secret information that come to mass media, information on methods of mixing explosives and achievements in the sphere of electronics that are also published at the open sources.

Terrorists can change their traditional tactics in order that counter-terrorist services will not reveal and destroy their plots. But irrespectedly of the chosen tactics, Al Qaeda actively seeks the way to attack the USA and cause the maximum possible damage related to numerous human casualties and economic losses.

President Bush said Monday that he is asking Congress to create the position of a national intelligence director to serve as his principal adviser on countering terrorism.

"Our goal is an integrated, unified national intelligence effort," he said.

Bush wants the director to be appointed by the president and approved by the Senate. He said the director will be charged with overseeing and coordinating the "foreign and domestic activities of the intelligence community."

Creating such a position is a key recommendation of the so-called 9/11 commission, a bipartisan panel established by Congress to investigate events before, during and immediately after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

"We're a nation in danger," Bush warned Monday, as three major East Coast financial districts operated under heightened security.

The move would require Congress -- which is in recess -- to revise the 1947 National Security Act that created the CIA, Bush said. Under the president's intelligence reorganization plan, the CIA would be managed by a separate director.

"We can expect to see an escalation in terrorism on a global scale with a continuation of conventional acts of terror, such as suicide bombings and shooting, as well as mega-terror like September 11 in the US and March 11 in Spain," Professor Yonah Alexander, director of International Center for Terrorism Studies, one of the world's leading expert on terrorism told. "There will also be a move towards the use of non-conventional weapons: biological, chemical, nuclear as in dirty bombs, and cyber-terrorism, whereby perpetrators will try to disrupt power supplies and air traffic, for example, at the touch of a button."

The actuality of his warnings was in some measure proved by testimony of Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan, the Al Qaeda computer expert recently captured in Pakistan. He told Al Qaeda used email and websites in Turkey, Nigeria, and regions occupied by Pakistani tribes to communicate with each other.

Since cyberterrorism is a today's reality, governmental and private authorities should be legislatively obliged to undertake technical measures to provide the security of computer networks as the most vulnerable element of the modern society.

The humanity entered into the 21st along with the terrorism that has become one of the most dangerous problems by its scales, suddenness and social-political and moral sequels.

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