Computer Crime Research Center


US expert says no such thing as cyber terrorism yet

Date: June 15, 2004
By: Erwin Lemuel G. Oliva

According to INQ7, CYBER TERRORISM is more hype than reality, at least for now, an American expert said Thursday during a videoconference with Philippine government officials at the US embassy in Manila.

There have been no cases of cyber attacks that can be strictly labeled cyber terrorism, said Dorothy Denning, a professor of the department of defense analysis at the US Naval Postgraduate School.

Denning, who is also a member of the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Irregular Warfare, said that while terrorists and their supporters had been using information technology, particularly cyberspace, to communicate with each other, plan their activities, and spread propaganda about their cause -- she had yet to encounters cyber attacks that aimed to incite fear in the intended target.

"There is really no cyber terrorism but there is web defacement, worm attacks, etc. But they don't exactly incite fear. They are disruptive though," she said.

Reports of terrorist groups launching cyber terror attacks remained speculative, she said.

"To say that cyber terrorism already exists is still speculation. But there are some concerns that the al-Qaeda, for instance, will eventually develop the capability to launch cyber attacks," she said.

In a paper titled "Is Cyber Terrorism Coming," Denning admitted that there has been an increasing number of cyber attacks in recent years.

"I don't think it (cyberterrorism) exists yet, so we are really talking about something that is hypothetical," Denning said. "Cyber attacks don't have the psychological fallout that physical attacks have."

But as technology, particularly cyberspace, becomes increasingly tied to physical infrastructure, cyber attacks can likely lead to damage of property and eventually death, she said.

The Philippine Congress is now working on an anti-terrorism law, that will make cyber terrorism and other forms of terrorism a criminal act.

Add comment  Email to a Friend

Discussion is closed - view comments archieve
2005-04-18 02:19:16 - The experts have been wrong in the past... Andrew G
2004-06-23 00:57:02 - Who says it doesn't insight fear? I know... Mac
2004-06-16 02:56:03 - just because us EXPERTS say there is not... chris
2004-06-16 02:54:37 - just because us EXPERTS say there is not... chris
Total 4 comments
Copyright © 2001-2013 Computer Crime Research Center
CCRC logo