Chapter 2

Chapter 2
Digital Terrorism
Information Warfare and Cyberterrorism
Information warfare is the gathering or use of
information to gain an advantage over another
Those actions intended to protect, exploit,
corrupt, deny or destroy information or
information resources in order to achieve a
significant advantage, objective or victory over
an adversary.
Components of Information Warfare
Information warfare consists of six components:
Psychological operations
Electronic warfare
Military deception
Physical destruction
Security measures
Information attacks
Electronic warfare is the denial of information or
accurate information to an adversary.
Physical Information Warfare
Physical information warfare involves a physical
attack on an information system
Terrorism is the actual or threatened use of
violence by an individual or group motivated by
ideological or political objectives. The goal of
terrorism is to intimidate or coerce a government
or its people.
Cyberterrorism cannot be as concretely defined.
Terrorism is defined by the nature of the act, not
by the identity of the perpetrators or the nature of
their cause.
Cyberterrorism is specifically a premeditated,
politically or ideologically motivated attack or
threat of attack against information, computer
systems, computer programs, and data that can
result in violence against civilian targets.
There are four categories of attacks:
Infrastructure attacks
Attacks designed to destroy a system that includes critical data
Information attacks
Attacks focused on demolishing or altering the content of electronic
files or computer systems
Technological facilitation
Use of cyber communication to distribute and coordinate plans for a
terrorist attack, incite an attack or assist in the facilitation of
Fundraising, solicitation and recruitment
Information infrastructure is composed
of five essential components:
Communications networks
Phones, satellites and cable networks
Equipment used for the provision of information
TV's, radios, computers and phones
Information resources
Educational or medical programs or databases
Electronic commerce or digital libraries
Facilitation of Attack
Technology has allowed for reduced
transmission time in communication, so that
members of an organization all over the globe
may coordinate their tasks.
Information technology has also reduced the
cost of communication.
Data Hiding
Data Hiding means that the information is hidden
or imbedded in other apparently innocent data.
Post September 11, 2001, reports surfaced that
revealed that al Qaeda had been transmitting
hidden data over the internet.
Data Hiding - Cryptography
An encryption program scrambles information in a
controlled manner through the use of a
cryptographic key.
Ramzi Yousef, convicted of the 1993 World Trade
Center bombing, had encrypted plans to destroy
11 American airliners. This was only discovered
after FBI agents spent over a year decoding files
found in Yousef’s Manila apartment in 1995.
Propaganda and Promotion
Terrorist organizations and adversarial nations
have also used the internet for purposes of
propaganda and recruitment.
Examples from Al-Qaeda
Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, an Islamic cleric
with proven ties to bin Laden, posted information
to the internet that al Qaeda was actively
planning a “cyber jihad,” or holy war, against the
United States and its allies.
China and Information Warfare
Cyber warfare has been almost totally
incorporated into
the military lexicon,
Military and academic training, and
Political organization in China.

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