Author: Utkarsh Shara
Co-Author: Kartik Srivastava
Manipal University Jaipur
Cyber Terrorism: A Study
The cyber threat is not only a problem in India instead it is a global issue that is growing rapidly. With the increase in technology and use of internet sensitive data which had been stored by individuals, financial, government, military, and private organizations are at risk which is stored on various platforms including Hard Drives and over the internet in cloud storage. What do we understand by “Cyber Terrorism”? These two words individually are a great threat in today’s world and with the increase in technology both “cyber” and “terrorism” combine, leading to a great threat all over the world. Cyber-attacks gives terrorist activities with a wide-reaching impact.
“Cyber” is a technical term to understand but according to Oxford Dictionary ‘cyber is related to electronic communication networks and virtual reality’, and “Terrorism” means ‘the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims’, therefore “Cyber-Terrorism” means ‘The politically motivated use of computers and information technology to cause severe disruption or widespread fear in society by sub-national groups or clandestine agents’. We can also say that “Cyber-Terrorism” refers to two elements: cyberspace and terrorism. Cyber-attack have the potential to create economic damage that is far out of proportion to the cost of initiating the attack. The more we are heading towards digitalization the more we will face the cyber threat. All cyber terrorism can be termed as cybercrime but all cybercrimes are not cyber terrorism.
Cybersecurity means to prevent the data and information from being misused. Advancement in technology though provides a fast and easier way to communicate, store information and getting things done but it is not that safe. The information stored can be stolen by a person sitting next to you or maybe sitting outside the room. The operating system used by hackers and the terrorist groups is way different that from windows or Mac, they generally use the ‘Backtrack’ Operating system which is based on Linux and only runs with the help of commands and coding, therefore making the tracing process of a quite difficult. The information we transfer is all in the form of packets & electronic signals which are freely roaming in the air in encrypted form but can easily be decrypted and can be Snatch by use of software. A cybersecurity attack can result in everything from identity theft, to extortion attempts, to the loss of important data like family photos. Cyber-security is the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks. Cyber-attacks are of two forms those that target data and those that target control systems.
Cyber Terrorism in India
India is in the third position amongst the countries facing a cyber threat. Due to less awareness among citizen in India Cyber threat is growing rapidly and the willingness to tackle the same is decreasing day by day. Attack in Cyber Space includes Hacking, Fraud, Identity Theft, Scamming, Computer Viruses, Ransomware, DDoS Attack, Botnets, Spamming, Phishing, SQL injection, Malware attack, etc. Cyber Security and Cyber Forensics in India are not easy to achieve as there is no such awareness amongst the general public who are unaware of the fact that someone is having a continuous check on the activities done by them over the internet. To deal with such cyberspace attacks India has enacted the Information Technology Act 2000 yet fails to keep it updated. Issues like Denial of service (DOS), distributed Denial of Service (DDOS), Trojans, backdoors, phishing, sniffing, and many other modes need to have a special procedural provision. In 2018 Bangalore the IT Capital of India is declared as the Cyber Crime capital of India, though we have experts who are one out of the best in the world to safeguard the country from such attacks like Ankit Fadia, Sunny Vaghela, Vivek Ramachandran, Benild Joseph, and many others. Sub-National groups and clandestine agents or we can say the persons who want to cause damage to our society may use various software developed by them to send information from one place to another which is in encrypted form and which needs to be decrypted to get the message. Images shared over internet through WhatsApp or over any other social media may contain any text which is hidden inside the image and we are aiding them to transfer, this is the most common mode used by the terrorist to communicate with other members of their group. The mind and intention of cyber-terrorist are way different from that of a cyber-criminal. Attack done by terrorist groups without the use of weapons but by way of the use of technology seems not to affect us physically but it causes damages to the virtual world. The information stored on computers, hard drives, and cloud storage can easily be used by these hackers or terrorist organizations and can be a greater threat to our digitalized world. The technology which is innovated for the benefits are now been used to cause irreversible damages that may not affect a particular location but will affect us on a large scale. We if look at the situations in past we can find that earlier the terrorist groups have to perform various physical work so as to cause damage but in this digitalized world it is easier for them to cause damage from the place where they are sitting, personal information including your bank details can be in their hands on just a single click by us. India has witnessed a 457% rise in cyber-crime incidents from 2011 to 2016. With the increase in technology, we can easily identify the criminals with the help of Artificial Intelligence, Facial Recognition, etc. Government both Central and State have created anti-cybercrime squads to handle the government, military, and financial cases.
Measures to control Cyber Terrorism
- Use the Web links which has “https stand for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure” instead of using “Http” where ‘s’ stands for secure.
- Instead of storing documents and personal data on various cloud storage store them in removable hard drives.
- Links that are circulated over the internet by such terrorist groups which contain malware as soon as we click on them all your personal information stored will be stolen within seconds.
- Reading the terms and conditions before accepting, we can prevent one to give his/her consent to the developers to send your location and other information.
Cyber Terrorism is an evolving crime that has grown tremendously since its inception. Even the defense forces also need cybersecurity and cyber forensic capabilities. Cyber terrorism is not only real but is also of immense concern in this digitalized world. Restrictions are to be imposed over the use of the internet to prevent such cyber-attacks of terrorist groups. The help of cyber experts is to be taken to protect sensitive data. The government shall provide for the training of individuals who are having a good command with language and computer language and shall provide them with employment. Crimes happening in Cyber Space are a great threat to the future world and if not taken preventive measures then it will cause similar harm as that of war.
Author: Utkarsh Shara
Co-Author: Kartik Srivastava
Manipal University Jaipur