Information age terrorism: toward cyberterror
Littleton, Matthew J.
Wirtz, James J.
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The growing ubiquity of computers and their associated networks is propelling the world into the information age. Computers may revolutionize terrorism in the same manner that they have revolutionized everyday life. Terrorism in the information ageB will consist of conventional terrorism, in which classic weapons (explosives, guns, etc.) will be used to destroy property and kill victims in the physical world; technoterrorism, in which classic weapons will be used to destroy infrastructure targets and cause a disruption in cyberspace; and cyberterrorism, where new weapons (malicious software, electromagnetic and micowave weapons) will operate to destroy data in cyberspace to cause a disruption in the physical world. The advent of cyberterrorism may force a shift in the definition of terrorism to include both disruption and violence in cyberspace in the same manner as physical destruction and violence. Through the use of new technology, terrorist groups may have fewer members, yet still have a global reach. The increasing power of computers may lower the threshold of state sponsorship to a point where poor states can become sponsors and rich states are no longer necessary for terrorist groups to carry out complex attacks. This thesis explores the shift toward information warfare across the conflict spectrum and its implications for terrorism. By examining the similarities and differences with past conventional terrorism, policymakers will be able to place information age terrorism into a known framework and begin to address the problem.
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