Crimes Against Information Systems Analysis

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At one time, an individual with a gun could decimate several people and would be highly feared. Now a mischievous individual with access to informational systems is thought not only to be menacing but also lethal to integral parts of society. Criminals no longer opt to torment a few victims using firearms or explosives; rather, they chose to inflict terror on the mass by crippling or even crashing critical informational systems.


Cyber-terrorism is the new crime preference to inflict havoc on the masses of society. Watson (2002) defines cyber-terrorism as "the use of cyber tools to shut down critical national infrastructures (such as energy, transportation, or government operations) for the purpose of coercing or intimidating a government or civilian population." (p.8) Over the years, the level of cyber-terrorism has evolved. Years ago, hackers attained satisfaction by simply breaking into a system (Wilmot, 2004). However, Littleton (1995) still regards hackers as dangerous and further implies imminent danger by questioning the ability of a hacker to become a cyber-terrorist. Wilmot (2004) contends that hackers' abilities to "crack passwords or find a back door route through a security firewall" shows that hackers can easily use a simple act to corrupt data in high technology. (p. 287). Though hackers implement a more simplistic form of cyber-terrorism, and their trespassing is not as harmful as modern day crackers-those who seek to disable networks or systems-both hackers and crackers pose danger to the world that holds critical information. However, the sophistication of cyber-terrorists' methods correlates with the degree of their motives.
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