Should the US Government be scared of Cyber Terrorism?

Essay by coloradosilverHigh School, 12th grade October 2003

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Should the U.S. Government be Scared of Cyber Terrorism?

In today's society, people are always trying to improve technology, but in doing so, are they creating something that can be used to create mass destruction for the United States? Everyday computers get faster, new programs are written, or some scientist finds a way to make a job be done quicker. The United States is finding out that being a World Power and other countries are getting jealous. Most people think the word terrorism to mean bombs, and mass murders, but with the evolution of the computer age, terrorism is taking on a whole new meaning. This new technology is being called Cyber Terrorism, and is used by a variety of people. Many people are hacking into U.S. government files and messing up the files, while the government is trying to prevent the hackers with computer simulations and computer programs.

The Colombian Rebel Group ELN is one of the many terrorist groups known to have a web page on the Internet. The ELN is known mainly for blowing up oilrigs in South America, and for kidnapping foreign executives. Two years ago, a Swedish hacker managed to go to London, to Atlanta, and then to Florida where he rerouted and tied up phone lines in each country, put 911 services out of commission, impeded the response of police, fire and rescue services. There are also a lot of cyber attacks within the United States, which are referred to as domestic attacks. In 1996, there were 128 cases of cyber attacks on the FBI's files, in 1998 there were 550.

If a terrorist wanted to black out New York City he would have to make physical contact with the power plant by means of bombs, or actual hands on in destroying...