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Crimes Against Information Systems Analysis - Essay Example

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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.
An intent
Motives and Methods of Cyber-Terrorists
An intent of cyber-terrorist includes causing a devastating amount of damage, while remaining elusive. To illustrate the elusiveness of a cyber-terrorist, Littleton (1995) uses two examples from the late 1980's. The identification, trial, and conviction of Robert T. Morris transpired only because he spoke of his creation, the 1988 Internet Worm, to several people. Rather, the author of the famous Michelangelo virus remains unidentified and escaped consequences altogether. The low risk of being captured coupled with the benefit of easily gaining access to restricted areas makes the crime of cyber-terrorism more appealing to criminals.
Motives of cyber-terrorists range from mischief to malice. Today's juveniles have joined the cyber-terrorist realm by defacing Web sites. However, Watson (2002) regards the less serious crimes as highly consequential. When a site is defaced, its information is altered. Misleading information ultimately deceives viewers of the site and result in decrease of confidence and capital for owners of the site.
Both hackers and crackers gain access to exclusive information by deciphering protective codes (Wilmot, 2004), which Littleton (1995) claims is not hard to do. A mischievous hacker seeks to only occupy an area considered off limits. On the other hand, a malicious cracker not only breaks codes to enter off-limits areas, but he or she seeks to vandalize or defile the area by causing immediate damage or planting viruses which slowly infiltrate and destroy systems that operate as critical infrastructures (Morris; Wilmot, 2004).
Impact of Cyber-Terrorism
According to Wilmot (2004), citizens cannot function without the critical infrastructures of their communities. One part of the critical infrastructure extremely vulnerable to cyber-terrorism is the public safety system. Branches of the public safety ...Show more


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…
Author : malinda49
Crimes Against Information Systems Analysis
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