My opponent felt it was important to define just what Cyber and Nuclear terrorism is, but I feel it is also important to define terrorism in the
general sense to show not only how it is done and who would be considered a terrorist, but also what would be considered an act of terrorism.
Though there is no single definition of terrorism the FBI defines it as,
“Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or
any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
Terrorism is further broken down into two subgroups,
• Domestic terrorism involves groups or individuals who are based and operate entirely within the United States and Puerto Rico without foreign
direction and whose acts are directed at elements of the U.S. Government or population.
• International terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence committed by a group or individual, who has some connection to a foreign power or
whose activities transcend national boundaries, against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any
segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
Also during a Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism to the Committee on Armed Services, U.S. House of Representatives, Dorothy E. Denning of Georgetown
“To further qualify as cyber-terrorism, an attack should result in violence against persons or property, or at least cause enough harm to generate
fear. Attacks that lead to death or bodily injury, explosions, plane crashes, water contamination, or severe economic loss would be examples. Serious
attacks against critical infrastructures could be acts of cyber-terrorism, depending on their impact. Attacks that disrupt nonessential services or
that are mainly a costly nuisance would not.” Georgetown U
I felt the need to expand on this for my opponent feels that the cyber-terrorist is best left to novels, and the whole concept is vague with
We can now begin understand that these cyber-terrorist attacks can either be caused by groups or individuals, and can be inside a country or transcend
national boundaries. They will also be connected to a government or some other power in the furtherance of political or social objectives.
Cyber-terrorism is not some 18 year old script monkey hacking a website as my opponent may want us all to believe.
Furthermore, as what was explained to the Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism, when we now debate cyber-terrorism we should all have images of
attacks that lead to death or bodily injury, explosions, plane crashes, water contamination, severe economic loss and even serious attacks against
critical infrastructures. This and more is what cyber-terrorism is all about, and as I will explain later, is a much more serious threat in both
availability and scale to Nuclear-terrorism.
My opponent felt the need to invest a large portion of his first post on safeguards, and yes there are backups, but daily backup unlikely. Also I
really do not know of many contingency plans for power outages or command post type backup locations. He will need to pull out some facts on this
otherwise he is just speculating on what might be a good idea though most likely cost prohibitive.
A good example that shows a lack of safeguards that my opponent feels are up and running is the “I Love You" virus. It was written by a college
student and was released by accident. It infected thousands of corporate sites at the cost of 1.5 to 2 billion dollars per day in lost revenue.
Hmm one collage student and one mistake...
My opponent is also confused that hackers are unable to be part of terrorism and only “hypothetical individuals acting for political motives” can
In a world of about 100,000 hackers 10,000 of them are very good and can write their own source codes to hack. 1000 of those are extremely
exceptional in their abilities, and will sell their expertise to the highest bidder including terrorist who just happen to have vast resources. This
does not even account for state run terrorist programs, and as example China is on the forefront of this.
Safeguards are like locks in they keep the honest person honest and most of the criminals out, but to the truly capable a lock is nothing more than a
State run terrorism programs and powerful organizations with billions at their finger tips are truly capable and gain advantages every year as more
and more of the physical would is under control by computers and the skill of cyber-terrorist become increasingly better and more importantly focused
on massive cyber attacks.
One Bang vs. Constant Attack
To talk about how a group can get the most damage out of nuke, or even suggest a dirty bomb that has no nuclear fission can be a nuke is rather a
waste of posting space for we still have one major problem since all of it is still just one big bang.
9/11 was basically just one big bang too, and so it disrupted the US for a few days then it actually made us stronger and unified. This was a mistake
by terrorist for it did not accomplish what they set out to do.
In essence it was like winning one small battle but losing the war effort. We must all remember that terrorist want to create fear and uncertainly to
influence governments and the population, and 9/11 did not do that and in fact it did the opposite.
Death and destruction are just tools to create the desired outcome for terrorist, and cyber-terrorism is also a tool to reach the same desired
To truly create fear, uncertainly and mistrust in financial institutions and state/federal governments there needs to be a long constant attack of
some form. Even with the greatest of efforts and perfect execution the terrorist will only get one nuke at best, but an endless cyber attack to
collapse the stock markets around the world, make electronic purchasing, banking, and credit useless with total loss of confidence and credibility in
our financial systems, constant infrastructure attacks that wipe large grids of power, disrupt water & sewage and even things as small as stop lights,
bring 1000s of corporations to a standstill, disrupt delivery systems to create bare shelves across a country and totally wipeout the military’s C4
(Communications, Command, Control, Computer) is a situation on a scale that would bring a country to its knees in total chaos.
To do this a nuke is not needed, just a million firecrackers of cyber terrorism will get it done. A physicist once said,
"cyber-terrorism can be like a person who just changes the fifth place of Pi in all my calculations. It would be enough to make me think all of the
calculations were completely wrong."
All cyber-terrorism needs to do is constantly attack to reach the point that the population no longer trust, and then anarchy sets in.
Why use cyber attacks over traditional one?
Cyber terrorist prefer using the cyber attack methods because of many advantages for it.
It is cheaper than traditional methods.
The action is very difficult to be tracked.
They can hide their personalities and location.
There are no physical barriers or check points to cross.
They can do it remotely from anywhere in the world.
They can use this method to attack a big number of targets.
They can affect a large number of people.
Why use traditional attacks over nuclear?
With traditional attacks you can achieve the same outcome as cyber terrorism in that constant small attacks over a long period will create the desired
results that terrorist are looking for. With 12 million illegal aliens in the US, and large numbers in other first world nations, a flood of terrorist
that constantly attack such as killing 20 people at a mall, but in 50 different malls around the country and with constant physical attacks on the
infrastructure at a national level as we see in Iraq is how terrorist goals are accomplished.
The bottom line is a nuke is a Strategic deterrent only and the biggest part of that deterrent is have many nukes and the capability to deliver them
anywhere in the world at any time, and because of this they are a useless weapon to a terrorist.
Nationwide attacks over long periods of time are how terrorist can successfully reach the necessary results to push their agendas and cyber-terrorism
will be one of their biggest tools since it can be a 24/7 coast to coast attack.