What is Cyberterrorism?

UK Legal Definition

No official UK legal definition exists for “Cyberterrorism”.  However, within the UK Terrorism Act (2000) “terrorism” means the use or threat of action where:

(a) the action falls within subsection (2),

(b) the use or threat is designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public or a section of the public and

(c) the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.

One of the actions that falls within subsection (2) is anything ‘designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system’.

This legal definition does not really help us in understanding what, and who might be involved in cyber-terrorism.

So, what is Cyberterrorism?

Cyberterrorism conjures up images of sci-fi films such as; ‘War Games’, ‘Goldeneye’ and ‘The Net’, where a lone individual brings down the government from the other side of the world.

But, wait a second…

Outside of the movies, this has not actually happened so is it a concern, what else might be considered cyberterrorism and how does it affect me?

Which of the following do you consider cyberterrorism?

  • An Al-Qaeda operative taking down the London Stock Exchange….
  • Downloading anti-Western documents….
  • A terrorist organisation having a website for their ideas…
  • An individual buying the materials online to create a bomb…
  • A 14 year old boy, bringing down the Treasury website…
  • Two IRA members talking in a chat room…
  • Downloading a bomb manual…