Terrorists are using the Net to threaten nations' electronic systems and infrastructures (Ofer Zemach, Jerusalem Post)
The Jerusalem Post with a round up of how jihadis use cyberspace:
- Attacks on electronic networks
- Sabotage of physical infrastructures
- Recruitment and propaganda
Islamic terrorists are winning the on-line war against Western interests because of their virtually unchecked ability to use the Internet to plan, promote, and propagate both physical and cyber attacks.
Efforts to monitor, predict, and counter such attacks are only in the earliest stages. Technical, legal, privacy, and even political challenges are slowing down what could be called cyber counterterrorism in Israel and the US. Private groups have done much of what little successful monitoring has been done so far, as government efforts, particularly in the US, have been hampered by civil liberties concerns.
While no major terror attacks have yet been carried out on or through the Internet, the sophistication of attacks is increasing and test runs for major disruptions have occurred.
These efforts go far beyond spamming people mercilessly and trying to recruit over the web.
The Washington Post reported in 2002 that US intelligence services had monitored al-Qaida terrorists snooping around in the computer systems of dams, power plants, and other facilities.
Three recent power outages within a week at Los Angeles International Airport have raised some concerns. One of the power outages affected 100 flights and caused two planes to fly within six kilometers of each other, closer than US regulations allow. Two of the outages were attributed to birds landing on power lines, and a malfunctioning transformer apparently caused the third.
I hope al-Qaida isn't training birds.