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Cyberterrorism - A Threat Or A Hoax - Essay Example

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The purpose of the essay "Cyberterrorism - A Threat Or A Hoax" is to assess and explore the concerns prevalent on the topic of cyberterrorism and to identify from this information the most rational perspective on the path for better understanding the topic…
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Cyberterrorism - A Threat Or A Hoax
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Cyberterrorism - A Threat Or A Hoax

Where a cyber-terrorist acts with the intent of severely impacting the economy or civil morale of the country, a hacker merely causes nonessential or at the most costly damage. For every publication produced that argues cyber-terrorism is a major threat, there is another that comes out claiming it is a hoax. Many of these authors who hold this position argue it is a form of presidential propaganda. In his article, Cyberterrorism: There are many ways terrorists can kill you—computers aren’t one of them, Joshua Green argues that the Bush administration’s infatuation with preaching the dangers of cyberterrorism is one that has become a pattern since September 11th. None are more exemplary of exploiting the public’s misunderstanding of the term, along with their fears, than Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, which Green proves with this quote by Ridge: Terrorists can sit at one computer connected to one network and can create worldwide havoc," warned Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge in a representative observation last April. "[They] don't necessarily need a bomb or explosives to cripple a sector of the economy, or shut down a power grid. (Green, 2002)" Green further points out that Ridge’s propaganda is not without merit considering that a survey of 725 cities conducted by the National League of Cities for the Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks showed that cyberterrorism ranked with biological and chemical weapons at the top of a list made by officials of the single most feared threats (2002)....
Green recognizes that all of these actions would be reasonable responses to an actual looming threat, but they fail to muster any sort of rationale considering that, as he states, there is no such thing as cyberterrorism--no instance of anyone ever having been killed by a terrorist (or anyone else) using a computer (2002). In his article Cyberterrorism: How Real Is the Threat? Gabriel Weimann acknowledges that the potential threat of cyberterrorism is the cause for its apparent alarm in society; but with not one single recorded instance of authentic cyberterrorism, one is left to wonder if there is really a threat (Weimann, 2004). Weimann identifies the public concerns over cyberterrorism as the most pinnacle form of trivial propaganda. He best relays this idea with the argument, Psychological, political, and economic forces have combined to promote the fear of cyberterrorism. From a psychological perspective, two of the greatest fears of modern time are combined in the term "cyberterrorism." The fear of random, violent victimization blends well with the distrust and outright fear of computer technology. He further points out that this unprecedented type of fear somewhat existed before 9/11, and it was identified through a number of U.S. military exercises which revealed many vulnerabilities in the American network. After 9/11 cyberterrorism was promoted to contribute to fear tactic propaganda of the president and it was enhanced by those who Weimann refers to as interested actors from the political, business, and security circles (2004). Despite all of this, he does not completely disregard cyberterrorism as just a propaganda scare. The Symantec Corporation, founded in 1982, is an international corporation known for selling security and information management computer software. For the companies 2003 security response titled Cyberterrorism? Sarah Gordon and Richard Ford assess all of the facts about cyberterrorism for the purpose of increasing common knowledge about prevention. ... Read More
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