Cyber Terrorism: Greatest Risks in the U.S.

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Cyber Terrorism: Greatest Risks in the U.S.

Cyberterrorism applies to the use of internet in carrying out deliberate attacks. Common Cyberterrorism identifies with disruption of computer related networks through diverse tools such as viruses, hacking and malware among others. Cyberterrorism is a new concept that came with the innovation of the internet technology. Terrorist individuals and organizations use cyberterrorism in creating panic and alarm. The harmful objectives used by Cyberterrorists are connected to politics, religion, race and ideologies among others.

The government of US has created laws that limit chances of Cyberterrorism. One of the major concerns of Cyberterrorism is the national security. Defense officials in the United States have argued that cyberterrorism has been on the rise in the past decades (Colarik, 2006). Cyberterrorists are directing attacks at individual corporations and government. Experts fear that the United States power grid could be attacked any time soon as it remains exposed.

Terrorists cover their tracks in the internet making it very difficult to know where and when the attackers will strike. It is worth noting that some Americans are part of the Cyberterrorist individuals and groups (Hoffman, 2006). Cyber attacks on information systems and network securities pose a threat to the Americans, in the sense that a simple attack will paralyze the nation and cause widespread havoc (Weimann, 2005).

The American national security is heavily guarded in making sure that Cyberterrorism does not incapacitate the system. Since the September 11th 2001, United States has been sensitive on issues relating to Cyberterrorism (Colarik, 2006). The U.S. government has advanced the security of the computer networks across the country in making sure that critical infrastructures are safe.

Another risk of cyberterrorism is constant failures of systems. Cyberterrorism has programs that slow or incapacitate systems resulting to huge losses. Commercial systems and civilian systems are constantly attacked both from within U.S, and outside U.S. Cyberterrorists have a capability of crippling financial systems, military and service computer networks (Verton, 2003).

The fear caused by cyberterrorism in the United States has partly been addressed by the political forces, psychological forces and economic forces in repelling the illegal practice (Hoffman, 2006). There is widespread fear related to sabotage of computer systems and fear of violent and random victimization caused by cyberterrorism.

It is worth noting that the fears associated with cyberterrorism are exaggerated and out of context. The reality is that Cyberterrorism is within the society and people in U.S. using the internet has attested to the negative influence of cyberterrorism (Weimann, 2005). Cyberdefenses has been on the increase in the United States in addressing the problem of cyberterrorism. In a number of cases, hackers have been confused for cyberterrorism; also the two are related to some extent. Cyberterrorism is complex as it keeps on changing with globalization and socialization (Colarik, 2006).

Cyberterrorists are developing more tools that can cause widespread havoc and damages to the target networks. United States is aware of this, and it is improving the security of the networks. Communicating to the Americans on the best ways of facilitating the cybersecurity is useful in sensitizing the general public on the best modalities of identifying and dealing with cyberterrorism. The problem of cyberterrorism is taking a new shape with advancement of technologies; prompting governments, organizations and individuals to be more vigilant.


Colarik, A. (2006). Cyber Terrorism: Political and Economic Implications. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Hoffman, B. (2006). Inside Terrorism. New York: Columbia University Press.

Verton, D. (2003). Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyber-Terrorism. New York: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media.

Weimann, G. (2005). Cyberterrorism: The Sum of All Fears? Studies in Conflict & Terrorism , 129–149.