Rowe, Neil C.
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Information systems (computers and networks) are increasingly the targets of attacks ranging from vandalism to serious crimes (Richardson, 2003). Since government systems are valuable resources for a society, it is important to protect them from such attacks. Unfortunately however, government systems can be especially vulnerable (Lucasik, Goodman, & Longhurst, 2003). This is in part because government is distributed over many locations, and it is therefore hard to protect all of its information systems well. Secondly, many government systems must be accessible to a wide range of people (even if through a government intermediary), unlike the specialized systems used in other settings, and users will include a few fools and criminals. Thirdly, governments often use popular business software, and the more popular software is, the more attacks are known against it. Finally, there are many people with antipathy or grudges against governments for one reason or another who may seek revenge by attacking its information systems and data. And with the global Internet, attackers need not be in the same country as the government they attack.
This article is to appear in Anttiroiko, A.-V., & Malkia, M. (Eds.), Encylopedia of Digital Government, Hershey, PA, USA: The Idea Group, 2006.
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