Cyber Terrorism

According to a CRS Report for Congress (2007), cyber terrorism is quickly becoming a serious problem to the security of United States Citizens. Apparently predictions are that as the government tightens border security and even seeks to uproot terrorist groups from their strongholds such as Afghanistan, the terrorists are bound to seek for alternative ways to exert their terror and destruction and the internet would be appealing for several reasons. One reason is that for some time now terrorists have found the internet as convenient site of communication and as a way of partially funding their terrorist activities through fraudulent credit cards. The CRS report also indicates that terrorist groups from the Middle East are increasingly colluding with experts in information technology in order to spread terror sometimes even the experts not knowing the outcome of the services they are offering. It is therefore obvious that cyber terrorism is a real threat to the security of U.S citizens.

As a cyber terrorist one would always have the advantage of staying anonymous to the ever vigilante scrutiny of government intelligence agency such as the CIA and the FBI. The U.S government through its various agencies acting on the available intelligence on the threats that cyber terrorism could pose, have placed various machineries to conduct research on the extent of the threat, the most probable targets, and the most the most appropriate and effective remedies. Among them is the CIA Information Operations Center. However it is also obvious that despite these efforts there still exists a weak link in terms of how the government coordinates with the private sector which is equably under the same threat.

If I were a cyber terrorist I would target the Department of Defense (DOD). Perhaps the reason why terrorist have not been able to initiate physical attacks using cyber terrorism is because they have not been able to create a link by which to exert physical terror using cyber terrorism. Most U.S missiles and weapons are satellite control and the satellites are further controlled by computers in a sophisticated fashion. I would seek to turn the weapons that U.S has against its own citizens and institutions. First I would seek the services of a bored teenage hacker who would not be interested with the details as long as high compensation is provided. I would convince the hacker to hack into the DOD computers and gain control over the monitoring and command of their satellites. After that I would wait for a congress meeting being attended by the president and direct a powerful missile towards that meeting. Usually security agencies would be more concerned with external threats that they would barely notice. I would also direct the hacker to disable all intelligence communications amongst various security agencies including the equipments used by mobile service providers and internet service providers. This will ensure that the attack catches not only the agencies unawares but also all other citizens.

If I had the forewarning of such an attack, I would first ensure that the control of missiles using satellites is completely decentralized. This will ensure that in any instance that terrorists seek to gain control over the satellites they will have to hack into the systems of several agencies. I would also ensure that a platform is created where government agencies have access and considerable control over the operations of mobile service providers and internet service providers so that case one of them is cyber attacked by terrorists, the government can still issue warning threats to citizens using the other. Government and the private sector should work hand in hand instead of independently in ensuring that systems are secure of cyber attacks and that various machineries are in place to counter act such attacks.

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