How should traditional notions of terrorism be modified to accommodate the new phenomena of cyberterrorism? An answer to this question will be provided by examining the components of Thomas Perry Thornton's definition of terror: "a symbolic act designed to influence political behavior by extranormal means, entailing the use or threat of violence."26
a. Symbolic Violence
Terrorism, it is often noted, is the weapon of the weak against the strong. Terror is utilized to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds facing terrorists if they were to pursue their cause with conventional military means. Terrorists will typically strike out against targets that will resonate with the group the wish to influence. Thornton states that "the relatively high efficiency of terrorism derives from its symbolic nature. If the terrorist comprehends that he is seeking a demonstration effect, he will attack targets with a maximum symbolic value."27 While Thornton is primarily concerned with insurgency, the value of attacking a symbolic target is applicable to terrorism. As an even weaker entity than the revolutionary, the terrorist must strike out against symbolic targets in hopes of gaining publicity and garnering support for a cause. If the cause is the eventual overthrow of the government, then the terrorist must attempt to build this support into an effective insurgency. Thornton continues to state that most important symbolic targets for terrorist/insurgent, "are those referring to the normative structures and relationships that constitute the supporting framework of the society."28 If these symbolic targets are destroyed, then the insurgent has succeeded in isolating individuals from the society in which they formerly felt secure and protected. In the information age, some of the structures that constitute the "supporting framework" of society are likely to be the high technology networks that allow individuals to communicate, access their money, and be employed. Thus, they are ideal targets for symbolic violence.
The intention of the terrorist or insurgent must be used to evaluate the "symbolic" nature of the chosen target. Intent drives the symbolism. An examination of the intent helps to differentiate between simple crime, which already exists in both the physical world and cyberspace, and terrorism. Philip Karbar highlights this distinction:
The symbolic concept of terrorism provides two crucial distinctions between terrorism and revolution and between terrorism and other forms of violence. If the objective of violence is the acquisition of useful objects (money, weapons, etc.) or the denial of such resources from the enemy, this action is robbery, assassination, sabotage, etc., "if, on the other hand, the objective is symbolic expression, we are dealing with terror" (Thornton). this highlights the distinction between terrorism and revolution, for symbolic violence can be used not only to propagandize the overthrow of a system, but also as a means of interest articulation to effect the system's output. When the "establishment" is unwilling to listen to nonviolent protest, terrorism permits the frustrated communicator, as staged by one terrorist, "to maximize significance and minimize getting caught."29
The cases examined in Chapter IV highlight the ability of criminals to perpetrate crime in cyberspace, all that remains for terrorism to follow is a shift in the intent of the actors.
Through information warfare attacks, cyberterrorists can utilize non-physical symbolic violence to articulate their message. Cyberterrorists can now manipulate a mass communication medium to convey a message directly, rather than relying on potentially incorrect or "slanted" reporting of an act of symbolic violence. The increasing ability to reach millions of individuals directly on the Internet or via a Direct Broadcast Satellite system offers "frustrated communicators" a non-violent alternative route to publicity.
Alex P. Schmid divides the symbolic value of terrorist acts into two separate categories. The first, denotative, categorizes those events that are "specifically and literally referring to an object or event." The second category, metaphorica, refers to a target that stands for "something other than what it appears to be.30 These two distinctions will become increasingly "fuzzy" in the third wave if a state's high technology networks (upon which it relies for national security, wealth, and connectivity) become the target of terrorists. The goals of the terrorist may be to garner attention (metaphorical) and weaken some economic or defense system (denotative) through attacking a network.
b. Influence on political behavior
The second element of Thornton's definition is that terror is an "act designed to influence political behavior." This portion of the definition focuses on political terrorism vice other forms, such as criminal or pathological terrorism. While no universally accepted definition for terrorism exists in the literature, political terrorism is concerned with changing the actions of either the incumbent regime (insurgent terrorism), other groups (vigilante terrorism), or the population at large (regime or state terrorism).31 The introduction of information warfare techniques will affect the conduct of all three types of terrorism but not the terrorist's intention to influence political behavior.
The extranormality of terrorist means and targets is critical to understanding the effectiveness of terrorist violence. Schmid states that, "normal occurrences lead to standardized responses and coping mechanisms. Terrorist violence breaks the pattern of normal human actions."32 It is precisely because terrorist actions fall so far outside the "norm" of violence accepted in society that they generate such an extraordinary reaction. Schmid identifies five elements of extranormality: the weapon, the act, the time and place, covert and clandestine nature, and violation of rules of conduct.
(1) The Weapon. Terrorists have a long history of utilizing "common" weapons such as knives, guns, and bombs to commit acts that exist outside the realm of accepted behavior (murder, assassination, airline and embassy bombings). These weapons take on new dimensions in the minds of the victims and target audience. The fear of the unknown and the increasing potential of terrorists utilizing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), as evidenced by the sarin gas attacks in Tokyo, produces terror as a result of such powerful weapons being controlled by a sub-state, non-sanctioned actor. As the information age arrives, the possession of information warfare skills by smaller and smaller groups of individuals may signal the arrival of a new WMD, a Weapon of Mass Disruption, in which bother the state and sub-state actors are equally equipped to inflict this disruption.
(2) The Act. While the use of chemical weapons and the destruction of buildings has been commonplace in the "normal" realm of state on state warfare, gassing civilians in a subway and the destruction of an embassy, airplane, or federal building with a bomb clearly lies outside the bounds of accepted, and even criminal, behavior. Since a cyberterrorist act has yet to be committed, the first act will, by definition, be outside the bounds of the normal. At the very least, it will be unique.
(3) The Time and Place. The third extranormal element is the time and place of the attack. In terrorism, there is no "declaration of war" between two states that prepares the population for violence between the state and an enemy. Thus, a terrorist attack is usually a "bolt from the blue," designed to create terror in the target audience due, in part, to its unexpectedness. As Schmid states:
The place of the terrorist act is also unpredictable. There are no frontlines, there is no battlefield. The sudden outbreak of violence can occur at home, during a sportive event or in a cinema, in a barroom or on the marketplace-places which have the character of zones of peace. The contrast between the familiar surroundings and the violent disruption enhances the fear. Their is a sporadic, irregular pattern to the violence, whereby no one can be really certain that he is not facing imminent danger the very next moment. The thought where and when the next attack will take place and who will be the victim is on everybody's mind of those who belong to the targets of terror.33
The ability to stage an attack nearly anywhere is an element that will become increasingly important in the information age. If terrorists wish to attack a state's key networks utilizing information warfare methods, the will be able, from one location, to attack either parts of the system or the entire system itself. The "no frontlines or battlefield" situation is already reality in "cyberspace" where there are no borders. Using information warfare methods for attack allows a terrorist on the other side of the world to pose the same level of threat as one in the room next door.
(4) Covert and Clandestine Nature. This applies equally to insurgent and state terrorism. An insurgent terrorist group must, be design, remain covert and clandestine to continue to operate. The dawn of the information age presents new tools for a terrorist organization to communicate securely with its members while simultaneously enhancing the clandestine nature of the group. Additionally, the information age provides another set of tools to the anti-terrorist forces for use against the terrorist.
(5) Violation of rules of conduct. Couples with the lack of a battlefield or front line is the lack of any rules of engagement or laws of war. The Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorists or their victims. Schmid again highlights the effect this has on individuals:
The adherence to social norms in human interactions makes behavior predictable and thereby contributes to a sense of security. Whenever manmade violence occurs we look for a reason and generally find it in a breakdown of the actor-victim relationship. the terrorist, however, has generally not had such a relationship at all. The victim is often not his real opponent, he is only an object to activate a relationship with his opponent. the instrumentalization of human beings for a cause of which they are not part in a conflict in which they are often not active participants strikes many observers as extranormal.34
The victims in cyberspace will never "see" their attacker, nor are they likely to have any relationship with their attackers in the "real" world. Rather, the interaction will occur exclusively in the anonymous realm of cyberspace.
In summary, the "extranormal means" of a terrorist act are designed to prevent the victim or the target audience from placing the event into a known framework. The inability to classify the threat or devise a solution utilizing normal procedures leads to the creation of terror. Thornton states, "knowledge and understanding of the source of danger provide the victim with a framework within which he can classify it, relate it to his previous experience, and therefore take measures to counter it."35 If the cause of the danger is unknowable and unpredictable (i.e., caused "randomly" by terrorists), a state of anxiety, characterized, "by fear of the unknown and unknowable" will be achieved. If the threat is great enough, the result is a state of despair characterized by the perception of the threat as "so great and unavoidable that there is no course of action open to him that is likely to bring relief."36 As the reliance on computerized systems for the conduct of everyday like increases, the level of disruption and disorientation that would be caused by their failure also increases.
The final element of Thornton's definition of terror, "entailing the use or threat of violence" deserves close attention as the ability to threaten or use physical violence in cyberspace is nonexistent. Thornton bluntly states that, " a nonviolent program could hardly qualify as terrorism."37 Unfortunately, the varying definitions of violence in the literature on terrorism are second only to the varying definitions of terrorism itself. A critical component of most definitions is that violence entails physical harm to a person or object. Paul Wilkinson's definition is a good representation of the "physical" school:
[V]iolence is defined as the illegitimate use or threatened use of coercion resulting, or intended to result in, the death, injury, restraint or intimidation of persons or the destruction or seizure of property.38
As terrorism moves into the information age, the definition of violence must include cyberviolence. While the destruction of data is not a physically violent act, and will not always place a human life in jeopardy, it should still be treated as terrorism. If the goal of the cyberterrorist is to create terror, the best course of action may be to resort to a physically violent act, or attack a computer system that will place lives in immediate jeopardy, such as aircraft control system. If cyberterrorists are unable to create the perception of a physical risk to their audience, they will be unable to create a sense of terror. They may, however, be able to fulfill several other objectives of terrorism.
Thornton addresses several objectives in his examination of terror as a weapon. The first objective is morale-building within the terrorist group. The second objective is advertising, in which the group attempts to announce its existence and place its concerns before the target audience. Terrorists have historically used this "propaganda of the deed" to force debate on their goals. The recent bombing of the Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City is an example of how a symbolic target can force debate on issues far afield from the actual terrorist event. In this case, not only the building (which housed numerous federal agencies), but the data (anniversary of the resolution of the Waco, TX standoff between the BATF and the Branch Davidians) were symbolic. The symbolic nature of the attack riveted the nation's attention on the subsequent Waco and Ruby Ridge hearings in Congress and re-ignited a controversy over the conduct of several government law enforcement agencies.
When attempting to change the government through an insurgency, another objective, according to Thornton, becomes critical to the terrorist:
Disorientation is the objective par excellence of the
terrorist, removing the underpinnings of the order in which his targets
live out their daily lives. The primary responsibility of any incumbent
group is to guarantee order to its population, and the terrorist will attempt
to disorient the population by demonstrating that the incumbent's structure
can not give adequate support.
The demonstration is, however, but one aspect of the disorientation process. On a much deeper level, the objective is the isolation of the individual from his social context. The ultimate of the terrorization process, as Hannah Arendt conceives it, is the isolation of the individual, whereby he has only himself upon whom to rely and can not draw strength from his customary social supports.39
If the information age continues to create a society that is dependent on computers for communication and basic order, the disruption of these computers will be critical for the creation of disorientation. A government must ensure that those systems upon which it relies to maintain order and control are adequately defended against attack by terrorists and insurgents. In the United States, where 95% of the communications needs of the military are carried on the Public Switched Network (PSN), composed entirely of commercial carriers such as AT&T and MCI, it has been difficult to determine the proper role of the government in ensuring the security of these systems.40
A final objective of a terrorist organization is provoking a response by the incumbent group. Terrorists cannot directly control the government response to an act of symbolic violence. Often, a terrorist organization will commit a violent act in hopes that the government will over-react in its response. While there may be pressure to "do something" against the terrorists, the terrorist organization can only start the process of government action, not control it. As such, the government must take care not to play into the hands of the terrorist organization by over-responding.
Ideally, suppression should be accomplished by routine methods of law enforcement, but if the terrorists are effective-and especially if the incumbents perceive themselves to be in a crisis situation-it is almost inevitable that extraordinary repressive measures will be taken. In combating an elusive terrorist, the incumbents will be forced to take measures that affect not only the terrorist but also his environment, the society as a whole.41
The repressive nature of the countermeasures on society as a whole lead to a confirmation of the terrorist's statements against incumbents. In attempting to punish the terrorists, the government often punishes the people, leading to further disorientation and a fixation of blame onto the incumbents for the terrorist actions. This action-repression spiral is a key component of a terrorist group seeking to cause government overreaction.
The terrorist and government actions may, however, have the exact opposite effect from that just discussed. Ted Robert Gurr has labeled the negative aspects discussed by Thornton "backlash."42 When a terrorist commits a violent act, there is always a risk that the action will be seen as so completely unacceptable that support from within the group will be withdrawn. This phenomenon also exists outside the group. The general population will blame the terrorist and not the government for their suffering and will tolerate, if not welcome, repressive measures to eradicate the terrorists. Terrorists may ameliorate this problem through the use of cyberterror, in which they can attack symbolic targets in cyberspace without the need to kill "innocents" in the physical world. Destroying a computer or its data is unlikely to elicit the same emotional reaction as killing children.
All of the above can be summarized in the concept of the "tactical path" (Figure 2) that both the government and a terrorist group must follow. This concept, postulated by Dr. Gordon McCormick of the Naval Postgraduate School, states that there is both a Vmin (minimum level of violence) and a Vmax (maximum level of violence) that is acceptable to 1) the terrorist group's members and supporters, 2) society at large (the target audience). If a terrorist organization falls below the Vmin then it will lose its "place in the spotlight" and be relegated to the level of a nuisance or petty crime that is not worthy of the emotionally and politically charged term terrorism. If a terrorist group crosses the Vmax, then it will experience backlash losing support from within and raising the level of repression that the government can use to defeat the terrorist group. The government's tactical path is similarly bounded. If it falls below the Vmin the public will perceive it as not responding to the terrorist situation. If the government response exceeds the Vmax the public will perceive it as unduly repressive, thereby fulfilling one of the terrorist's main objectives of provoking an excessively harsh and repressive countermeasures campaign.
Figure 2. Tactical Path
While cyberviolence enables the terrorist to attack symbolic targets without resorting to physical violence, there is likely a similar "tactical path" for cyberviolence. The critical difference between cyberterror and conventional terror is disruption vice destruction. As such, the bounds of the two tactical paths are different. If terrorists use cyberviolence to kill individuals (through failure of critical computer controlled safety systems) the public will evaluate their actions on the conventional terrorism "tactical path" since the results of the action include destruction. If the event causes disruption exclusively, it will then be evaluated on a cyberterrorist tactical path. While the upper and lower bounds of each path are somewhat fluid, a general understanding of the limits is possible. The Vmax of cyberterrorism, judged in the number of people disrupted, is likely to be an order of magnitude greater than that of conventional terrorism in which people are killed. While several events, such as the shutdown of Japanese rail systems and the Internet (discussed in Chapter IV) disrupted millions of people, both the public and government responses were muted in comparison to the sarin gas attacks on the subways in Japan and the bombing of Pan Am 107 over Lockerbie. We have not yet seen a group cross the Vmax on the cyberterror tactical path.
Information warfare attacks can be a form of symbolic violence but can they create terror? We have seen that the components of symbolic violence are many and varied, with the critical target for insurgents being the social system of their target audience. In conventional terrorism one of the main objectives of terrorist act is the creation terror. This is best done by removing individuals from society and placing them in some form of physical jeopardy. Do information warfare tactics and techniques offer a terrorist the ability to do both at once? The exploding reliance on computers and telecommunications in the "third wave" world have created a definite vulnerability in the information age.
The sinews of the post-industrial society are already taking shape -- the network of electronic data-processing and communications -- and these sinews are already becoming more vulnerable to disruption and terrorism. The service industries, in particular, are increasingly inter-independent, and ripe for attack by fraudsters, hackers, eavesdroppers, disrupters, and extortionists.43
Indeed, the actions of hackers have left no doubt about the vulnerability of the world's computer systems. President Bush addressed this vulnerability at the highest levels of the U.S. government with the release of National Security Decision Directive 42 in 1990.
Telecommunications and information processing systems are highly susceptible to interception, unauthorized access, and related forms of technical exploitation as well as other dimensions of the foreign intelligence threat. The technology to exploit these electronic systems is widespread and is used extensively by foreign nations and can be employed, as well, by terrorist groups and criminal elements.44
The capability clearly exists to target the new "sinews" of our computer networked society. As evidenced by the Morris worm attack, it requires no external state support. Rather than being heavily dependent on money, people, and force in the manner of conventional terrorism, it is primarily dependent on information and knowledge of how to penetrate systems.
In the information age, the value of our networks to national security, government, and business is increasing at an exponential rate. Our financial networks, which move trillions of dollars a day, are an often cited example of the damage a terrorist attack on them would cause.45 This ability to move money electronically is vital to our economic well being and is a symbol of United States wealth and power. In the same way that U.S. embassy buildings and civilian aircraft were attacked as symbolic targets in the 70s and 80s, the networks that are manifestation of U.S. economic and political strength may become targets in the future. That the networks are vulnerable and a symbolic target does not automatically dictate that they will become targets of terrorist organizations. Rather, the efficiency with which these targets can cause fear, anxiety, and despair through terror will dictate when, if ever, terrorists will attack them.
Terror is a psychological state that can be sparked through physical acts. The "use or threat of violence" in the definition of terror as forwarded by Thornton exists exclusively in the physical world and does not "exist" in the same form in cyberspace. Terrorists can achieve the goal of disorientation at an individual level, "by physically withdrawing the individual from this environment and isolating him (as in "brainwashing" techniques)." Since a terrorist organization cannot isolate each person in its target audience, it uses symbolic violence in an attempt to destroy the social framework of society so that the individual thinks he is alone in his anguish even though he may be physically undisturbed.46
In the information age, relationships are increasingly being built upon the "Global Network.." This may give rise to the popular concept of a "Global Village." Communities of individuals separated by thousands of miles and state borders are springing up every day. These "virtual communities" only exist through the "cyberspace" connection afforded by new communications and computing technology. These communities are an ideal target for isolation by "cyberterrorists." While isolating the members of these communities from each other temporarily is possible for a terrorist group, the members are likely to have ties to a local community that provides their primary "social framework."47 If the members of the group relied entirely on their virtual community for their social framework, however, then a small group of people could effectively achieve the goal of disorientation within that virtual community as its members are already physically separated from one another. Removing their "cyberspace" ties with one another is an effective way to begin their isolation. Depending on how terrorists carry out the disruption of connectivity between the members, it could last for several hours, days, or weeks. With the increasing redundancy of telecommunications assets, it is unlikely that service would be disrupted for more than this period of time. the same disruption of service may occur through "natural" means, (fire, flooding, natural disaster) and would cause some concern within the community but would not create terror. That the same end result (disruption of service) does not produce the same psychological reaction is based on the individual's perception of the problem. The disruption and isolation generated by "natural causes" fits readily within the victims' cognitive framework allowing them to take actions to overcome their difficulties. If a terrorist organization covertly causes a low level of disruption, the citizens of the virtual community will not be able to classify the threat or they will classify the threat as the actions of "hackers," petty criminals, or as a government conspiracy. Only when the level of disruption escalates and cannot be controlled or understood by the "virtual citizens," will terrorists create anxiety and despair. For a cyberterrorists to be taken seriously, they must cause massive damage to their "cybertargets" to avoid the attack being evaluated within the public's know framework. If the terrorist wants to perform a "soft-kill" on a major system, the amount of information (hard to obtain) required is extraordinary while the amount of equipment (easy to obtain) is minimal. While it is more "elegant" to bring down a system with no visible signs through programming, it is far easier to bomb a "key node" in the computer system with explosives to disable its power or information flow. The networks connecting virtual communities are lucrative targets because they span conventional country borders and exist exclusively in cyberspace.
The "control" of cyberspace is a scam in U.S. society that a terrorist organization can exploit. The uproar generated by the U.S. government's proposal to mandate a specific hardware encryption method (the Clipper chip for telephones), which would still allow for government surveillance, highlights the lack of popular government solutions to problems in cyberspace. In addition, the government dismantled the National Science Foundation network (a major Internet backbone) in April 1995. Commercial service providers have taken over the services provided by the NSFNet.48 While in the past, access to the Internet was nearly exclusively via educational, government or scientific institutions, at present, commercial connections and "host" computers are growing rapidly. The commercial (com) domain is the fastest growing sector of the Internet over the last two years and the growth continues at an exponential rate.49
Since cyberspace is essentially uncontrolled by any government or individual, a question of who is responsible for its defense will be asked in the wake of sustained attacks. If no satisfactory answer is provided, the terrorists may be able to shift the target audience's anger toward the group (most likely the government) that they believe should be responsible for maintaining the security of cyberspace. Since the virtual community will most likely span several different countries, the opportunity exists for a terrorist to affect a worldwide target audience and achieve maximum impact for minimum effort.
While "cybercommunities" are vulnerable to information warfare attack can terrorists influence U.S. society at large via Information Warfare? Can they truly create terror by exploding software bombs instead of fertilizer bombs? The answer may lie in the increasing levels of computerization in everyday life and the blind faith that is coming to be placed in computers. The importance of these computers is discussed by Winn Schwartau:
In 1968, Marshall McLuhan said that emerging information networks are "direct extensions" of our own nervous systems. Losing an ATM machine, according to that reasoning, is the equivalent of a leg or an arm. People panic when their computer goes down.50
A terrorist blowing up or hijacking an airplane has a definite impact on the public. It is a media event that is widely publicized and speculation runs rampant over who committed the crime and for what reason. It is likely to cause fear in the public and perhaps anxiety in some. Some travelers may, due to their fear, opt not to use air transportation. In the majority of cases, the act of blowing up the airplane is not meant to punish the passengers, or even to deter air travel, but rather it is a symbolic act meant to bring the terrorist issue into the forefront of the media and thus, the world's attention. To create terror in the general public, there must be some perceived threat of violence. The large percentage of the population that has, and will, use air transportation can identify with the passengers who are killed in a plane bombing. They begin to ask, "Am I next?" an "Do I have any control over this situation?" While McLuhan may have been right in saying that networks are becoming an extension of our nervous systems, it is unlikely that individuals will value them as highly as arms or legs. When one or many ATMs go down, there is little hope of terror being created as a result. There is no threat to the physical well being of the ATM user. This situation, if caused by cyberterrorists, may cause anger and frustration, but causing terror is unlikely. If, on the other hand, ATM machines started to electrocute their users on a seemingly random basis, it may provoke a sense of terror in the ATM user community.
In an unlikely twist of fate, the World Trade Center bombers did cause a large number of individuals to lose access to their money via ATM machines. A major snowstorm on the East Coast of the United States caused the roof of Electronic Data Systems (EDS) Corporation's New Jersey computer center to collapse. The backup plan for EDS was to relocate their operations to an alternate site. Unfortunately, companies that the World Trade Center bombing displaced were using the EDS backup site. As a result, the ATMs that EDS serviced were forced to shut down, affecting 6% of the 83,000 teller machines in the United States. While damaging the EDS, the individual bank customer lost no data or money. In fact, the redundancy of the ATM communications system, with many machines being served y several different networks (Plus, Cirrus, etc.), 98% of those affected by the EDS outage had alternate access to their money via a different network.51 The loss of ATMs, while not directly intended by the bombers, did not cause massive panic or a run on any bank. The flexibility and redundancy of the existing networks, although individually vulnerable to disruption, were sufficient to allow the flow of money to continue without major interruption. This incident highlights the difficulty that a technoterrorist may face in the future with the increasing redundancy and multiple networking of vital systems. When one or several nodes are destroyed, the signals normally processed by that mode are simply rerouted to another node to reach their destination. With the increasing reliance on centralized switching in the telephone industry, the loss of just one switch can have widespread effects, as demonstrated by the 1988 fire that destroyed a Chicago area switch and resulted in the shutdown of O'Hare Airport and the loss of telephone service to a widespread area. Should cyberterrorists attack several nodes simultaneously, they may be able to create a disruption that would be more widespread than the physical destruction of just one node. While the cyberdisruption is likely to be larger, its effects will be less permanent than the physical destruction caused by conventional or techno-terrorists.
Brian Jenkins highlights the difficulty that information warfare attacks have in generating terror:
Will we see a more sophisticated 'white collar' terrorism, that is, attacks on telecommunications, data-processing systems, or other targets intended to produce not crude destruction but widespread disruption? Perhaps, but disruptive 'terrorism' of this type does not appear to be particularly appealing to today's terrorist groups. Such operations are technically demanding, and they produce no immediate visible effects. There is no drama. No lives hang in the balance. There is no bang, no blood. They do not satisfy the hostility nor the publicity hunger of the terrorists.52
In the future, terrorists may no longer need terror or physical violence to create the disruption and publicity that they desire. While the "kinder and gentler" cyberterrorist of tomorrow may be able to create disruptions without resorting to conventional destructive tactics, these information warfare skills may be used to augment the destructive nature of acts committed by conventional terrorists. The level of destruction and chaos caused by an act can be increased by interfering with the authorities ability to communicate and respond.
Information age terrorism, in its cyberterror form, may be non-violent and not directly utilize terror. It must, however, be treated as terrorism as it will fulfill nearly all the other objectives of terrorism and poses a serious risk to information dependent societies.
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