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Internet Crimes: Understanding Cyberterrorism

Cyberterrorism has become an increasingly widespread problem in recent years. It is particularly alarming because an individual or group could launch an attack at any country or organization from virtually anywhere. If you’ve been charged with any type of cyber crime, such as cyberterrorism, it’s important to contact a criminal defense attorney near Rockville as soon as possible. The law establishes very harsh penalties for those convicted of a cyber crime.

Defining Cyberterrorism
Terrorism is difficult to define. In fact, experts have not yet reached a global consensus on the definition of terrorism, let alone the definition of cyberterrorism. However, some organizations have developed a working definition to guide

Cyber Crime in Maryland

their policies. Generally, cyberterrorism is defined as a crime that is conducted via computer and that is intended to inflict fear on a populace, to coerce governmental policy change, to cause destruction, or to cause violence and death. Some experts object to this general definition, claiming that it could also apply to hacktivism, or activism via hacking. Yet, cyberterrorism can be differentiated from hacktivism. Although both types of cyber attacks have political agendas, hacktivists do not generally strive to inflict significant fear, or cause destruction and violence.

Identifying its Objectives
A cyberterrorist may have multiple objectives. Cyberterrorism may be conducted in an effort to recruit others to a cause, to plan future attacks, and to conduct espionage on foreign governments or organizations. Cyberterrorists may also seek to undermine the normal functioning of a society by adversely affecting the computer systems it relies on. Lastly, cyberterrorists may try to cause destruction or death. For example, cyberterrorists may try to disable air traffic control systems or national defense systems. They may also try to cripple infrastructure.

Understanding the Potential Penalties
Title VIII, Section 814 of The Patriot Act addresses several aspects of cyberterrorism. If an individual is convicted of cyberterrorism in a U.S. court, he or she may face imprisonment for up to 10 years for attempting to inflict damage on protected computer systems with the use of a virus or other malicious software program.

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