Thursday, December 13, 2007

"Cyber Terror" Label Too Easily Applied to Lesser Crimes

Zeid Nasser has posted an excellent commentary concerning the overuse of the word "cyber terror".
"In the first couple of years following the events of September 11, 2001, a hysteria regarding Internet-fueled terrorism reached fever pitch.

In the midst of this atmosphere, many Islamic movements and organizations on the web were banned, blocked, censored or monitored. With time, the term “cyber terror” emerged to describe any form of Internet aided attack for political causes, yet many still disagree to this day on the use of the word ‘terror’, opposed to more accurate words like ‘vandalism’ or simply just ‘hacking’."
Sensationalizing words will often grab headlines but diminishes their impact and create ambiguity - a problem that is rampant in the IT security profession. The articles presented here often overuse this and other words such as "cyber war", "infowar" and will often be offset in quotations to identify their inappropriate application. "Cyber war" and similar words should only be used for offensive use of technology to further a political or idealogical agenda, not for simple misuse such as hacking (trespass), web defacements (vandalism) or data theft (see Hacktivism & Politically Motivated Computer Crime for a discussion on political 'use', 'misuse' and 'offensive use' of technology for political purposes).

Nomina si nescis, perit et cognitio rerum

(Who knows not the names, knows not the subject)

- Linnaeus

Zeid Nasser's Tech Blog: Cyber-terror makes a comeback in the news

1 comment:

SPy Guy said...

I saw the former Chief Strategist of Netscape speak on Cyber Warfare at the SECTOR Conference in Toronto, What an eye opening experience. He stated that given the current cyber weapons race, a cyber war is all but a sure thing. He said "with every tick of the clock we are one second closer to an all out cyber war." He also talked about a number of cyber weapons that are both software and hardware. The attack on Syria seem like a small skirmish compared to the massive cyber events in late 2007.