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.
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
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
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.