Critical Infrastructure Threats and Terrorism
Full Title of Reference
Critical Infrastructure Threats and Terrorism: Handbook No. 1.02
- Resource by Type: US Government Reports and Documents
- Threats and Actors: Security Targets; Public Critical Infrastructure; Government Networks (.gov); Military Networks (.mil); Private Critical Infrastructure; Electricity, Oil and Natural Gas; Financial Institutions and Networks; Transportation; Water, Sewer, etc.; Communications; Telephone; Public Data Networks
- Issues: Cybercrime; Cyberwar; Espionage
- Approaches: Government Organizations
Computer Network Attack, Cyber Terrorism, Cyber Warfare, DDoS Attack, Hacker, Intelligence Infrastructure/Information Infrastructure, Interdependencies, Keylogger, Malware, National Security, Phishing, Virtual Military Technologies, Virtual Warfare
This report is part of a supplement to a larger terrorism primer, A Military Guide to Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century. This report offers highly detailed analysis of issues surrounding the proliferation of cyber terrorism, its history, the tactics used to recruit via the web, and the motivations behind the use of cyberterrorism. With the transition of information technology from tools of convenience to ones of necessity, theses systems have become high value targets for terrorists, and even nation states, seeking to affect or economic and national security. This report highlights the significance of information technologies in two ways. First, it reiterates the CIA’s position that the “IT revolution represents the most significant global transformation since the Industrial Revolution.” Second, the report offers a glimpse simply at the Department of Defense’s reliance on network systems, exhibited by the more than three million individual computers on 12,000 local area networks (LANs). Referring to the global networks of net works as the Global Information Grid (GIG), the report concludes that more than 40 nations have openly expressed interest in the development of sophisticated cyber warfare capabilities. This alone presents a real danger to our national security; however, this threat is further compounded by the inclusion of “transnational and domestic criminal organizations, hacker groups who sympathize with our enemies, terrorist organizations (evidenced by forensic analysis of captured computers) and ‘insiders’ who support our enemies.” The report offers that there is a growing danger among these groups as the convergence between terrorists and criminal continues and as the groups recognize the potential asymmetrical power cyber warfare offers.
Divided into sections, this report examines:
- Cyber Support to Terrorist Operations – the use of the Internet Technologies as a force multiplier; realized through planning, recruiting, propaganda, and operational research
- Cyber-Terrorism – utilizing the internet technologies as medium for attack, rather than a force multiplier
- Cyber Threat to U.S. Critical Infrastructures - it is feared that performance enhancing, online control systems may have made these proven terrorism targets more vulnerable to both physical and cyber disruption
- Cyber Threat to the Military – given the intensive use of IT by the military not only in war fighting, but also in its day-to-day function, the cyber threat to the military will only increase.
Ultimately, the report concludes that while Jihadi currently prefer conventional attacks, our reliance on IT infrastructure creates a target that must be protected.
Synopsis by Kevin Cannon, Texas A&M University.
Additional Notes and Highlights
Expertise Required: Organizational Analysis: Low, Risk Management: Low
There is a useful glossary of cyber terrorism and cyber crime terms at the end of this reference.
Preface ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Contents Introduction The Cyber Threat Objectives I. Defining Critical Infrastructures, their Components, and their Threats The Threat’s Viewpoint II. Critical Infrastructures at the National Level Agriculture & Food Water Public Health Emergency Services Government Defense Industrial Base Information ands Telecommunications Energy Transportation Banking and Finance Chemical Industry ands Hazardous Materials Postal and Shipping Direct and Indirect Effects of Infrastructure Attacks Department of Homeland Security The Defense Critical Infrastructure Program (DCIP) III. Identifying Weaknesses in a Critical Infrastructure Five-Step Process Defense Critical Infrastructure Program Procedures IV. Physical Attacks Agriculture Banking Energy Economy Transportation Local Threat V. Human Attacks VI Cyber Support to Terrorist Operations Planning Recruitment Research Propaganda VII Cyber-Terrorism Objectives of Cyber Attack Actors Tools of Cyber Attacks VIII.Cyber Threat to U.S. Critical Infrastructures