Chapter 15. Cyberterrorism

According to relevant and confidential sources, the U.S. economy loses over $6.5 billion annually as a result of what can be called cyberterrorism. Cyber-terrorism is defined as intrusive efforts by those hacking into unwanted Web sites, stealing credit card information, and infiltrating financial institutions, retail organizations, and personal accounts.

Cybercrime or software bombs have caused problems for public and private networks for years. Information technology (IT) staff has been playing catchup to cybercriminals in the high-stakes game of manipulating and preserving data. One of the first major cyberterrorism events occurred in 1988 at a securities trading company in Texas. Approximately 170,000 payroll records were deleted from the database months after the perpetrator had left the company; the aim was to time a "bomb" to go off later and not cause the cyberthief to be considered a suspect.

If you consider that 70% of outages are human and 21% are human error (spontaneous), only 9% of outages are management or process related. Thus cybercrime, or human intervention (the politically correct term), is a meaningful part of IT or plant interruptions.

Consider the 2002 "Logic Bomb" that was planted in the UBS Paine Webber data system by a disgruntled employee. This bomb was made up of approximately 50 to 70 lines of computer code that U.S. prosecutors claim took down about 2,000 servers. Approximately 8,000 brokers were left without access to intelligence ...

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