7 August 2018

Research Pick: Fear of cyber-terrorism - "Should we be afraid of cyber-terrorism?"

Is cyberterrorism all it’s cracked up to be or is it scaremongering by cyber-security firms keen on new business from individuals, other companies, and governments?

Researchers in Australia have reviewed the research literature and debate on this subject and question whether terrorists have ever really had the capability to “weaponize” the internet. Moreover, the predictions of those in academia, as well as the cyber-security and wider internet-associated industries, have not been borne out despite the apparent threats. It seems that rather being a weapon, the internet is mostly useful to terrorists as a communication tool.

That said and to paraphrase a well-worn cliché – The net is mightier than the sword. However, there is a caveat; the team suggests that our individual, corporate, and government responses to perceived terrorist threats could be a goal in itself for the terrorist agenda, leading to costs, service disruption, and other problems.

Droogan, J. and Waldek, L. (2018) ‘Should we be afraid of cyber-terrorism?’, Int. J. Electronic Security and Digital Forensics, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp.242–254.

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