Thursday, March 14, 2013

“Curb Cyber-Terrorism to Maintain Global Peace and Security” - Professor M.S.Rao

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” - W.W. Ziege

On March 14, 2013, Times of India newspaper reported on the front page titled, ‘Now, a phishing email in the name of RBI’ as follows: “An email allegedly from India’s central bank asking denizens to secure their bank account details with the RBI is fake, and an attempt by new-age fraudsters to con people into giving away bank account details and lose hard-earned money.”  It is obvious that fraudsters are finding new cyber tools and techniques to cheat people. Currently the internet crimes are shooting up globally.  Studies show that online theft is a multi-billion dollar business these days and annually about $20-50 billion gets lost through credit card frauds alone.  Internet crimes are closely connected with cyberterrorism.

What is Cyberterrorism?

Cyberterrorism is a broad term covering cyber crime which is also known as internet crime.  Cyberterrorism is technology based terrorism, and it can be defined as the process of disrupting computer networks, programs and operations with the aid of advanced internet tools and techniques by culprits. It includes online frauds. At times the eccentric people resort to such attacks with an urge to demonstrate their intelligence through wrongful means. The cyber terrorists apply wrongful means and ends to create chaos and confusion to the internet users.  It was Barry C. Collin, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Security and Intelligence in California who coined the term ‘cyberterrorism’ in 1997.  And Mark Pollitt, special agent for the FBI, defined it as follows: "Cyberterrorism is the premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs, and data which result in violence against noncombatant targets by sub national groups or clandestine agents."

Cyber Criminals versus Cyber Terrorists

There is difference between cyber criminals and cyber terrorists. The cyber criminals send out viruses to target networking sites with an intention to disrupt online activities. To prevent falling into the trap of cyber criminals, you must change your password from time to time. Use alphanumeric passwords that include a mixture of numbers and letters. And don’t open attachments received from unknown people and sources.  Hackers often have an urge to display their own technical prowess. But the cyber terrorists are more dangerous than cyber criminals who cause human casualties and damage critical infrastructure.  

Declare War on Cyberterrorism

It seems there will be more cyberterrorism with the rapid growth in technology as the terrorists have become tech-savvy globally.  The governments must design plans accordingly to counter them swiftly. 

Cyberterrorism is a global threat. It can annihilate mankind. All nations must unite to check alarming cyberterrorism. Imagine what would happen if the culprits attack the key computer networks, programs and operations and bringing mankind to a grinding halt.  Imagine what would happen if cyber terrorists attack nuclear plants and other key installations globally. Human race will be extinguished forever. Hence, it is time nations to take serious note of cyberterrorism and take remedial steps to keep the world safe free from cyberterrorism.

An integrated and holistic approach by all countries is needed to check this growing menace. If the mankind has to survive many thousand years curb the menace of cyber terrorism by declaring all out war on cyber-terrorism. To conclude, technology is a double edged sword. It is boon and bane and depends on how you use it. Hence, use it wisely to benefit the mankind and to make a difference in their lives.  

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