M.J.Warren† and S.M.Furnell‡
Page 2 Australian Institute of Computer Ethics Conference, July, 1999, Lilidale
The computer hacker already represents a well-known threat in the context of the global
information society and is held responsible for a significant degree of disruption and
damage to information systems. However, evidence suggests that hacking skills are now
being applied for distinctly political purposes. The consequence is that information
technology is increasingly seen as potential tool for terrorist organisations. This is
leading to the emergence ‘cyber terrorists’, who attack technological infrastructures such
as the Internet in order to help further their cause. The paper considers the potential
problems, presents some evidence to highlight known examples (particularly in the
context of the Balkans crisis) and discusses the responses necessary to preserve the
future security of our society.
Cyber Terrorism, Hackers, Internet, Security.
1) Introduction
Many aspects of our modern society now have either a direct or implicit dependence upon
information technology (IT). As such, a compromise of the availability or integrity in relation
to these systems (which may encompass such diverse domains as banking, government,
healthcare and law enforcement) could have dramatic consequences from a societal
In many modern business environments, even the short-term, temporary interruption of
Internet / e-mail connectivity can have a significantly disruptive effect, forcing people to
revert to other forms of communication that are now viewed as less convenient. Imagine,
then, the effect if the denial of service was over the longer term and also affected the IT
infrastructure in general. Many governments are now coming to this realisation.
This paper sets out to consider the scenario in which technology infrastructures or services...