Cyber Security and Cyber terrorism in US
Cyber security issues have been making headlines on a daily in various media platforms across United States. In 2013, Homeland Security stated that cyber terrorist threats have been evolving in the past decade. The department noted that the 9/11 terror attack prompted new policies to be implemented in order to prevent a similar catastrophe from occurring in the future. It also listed Al Qaeda, ISIS, and al Shabaab as the major groups posing terror threats against United States. Technological growth and expansion has enabled the groups to expand their activities. This has led Homeland Security to focus on cyber security. Cyber security is therefore one of the most crucial issues United States has been recently facing as threats have been real prompting security forces to respond.
According to Covault and other essays about the internet, cyber threats refer to risks faced by industrial and military sectors across United States influencing social, information, and economic aspects of the country. They are perpetrated by cyber criminals including phishers and hackers using malware to gain illegal access to the country’s computer systems and information networks. They illegally and unethically gather information they aspire to use against the country. According to David, cyber terrorism affecting United States started in the late 1990s. The cyber criminals however have been enhancing their skills as technology grows and expands. Thus, United States’ cyber security levels have been at risk of being compromised posing damage to the country’s socioeconomic infrastructures as the cyber criminals target corporations playing a major role in ensuring socioeconomic and sociopolitical growth and development.
In September 2014, Robert Anderson read a statement before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in Washington D.C. Robert was addressing recent issues adversely affecting the cyber security of the country. He noted Federal Bureau of Investigation has been identifying and combating various cyber terrorist attacks against United States. He stated that FBI and Homeland Security have been facing cyber threats seeking United States secrets, technology, and trade secrets. For example, he explained that in March 2013, various financial institutions across United States were victims of cyber attacks. The perpetrators were believed to be from Iran.
Consequently, in August 2013, several United States media companies were hacked and they lost control of their computer information systems mainly websites. They included the Huffington Post, New York Times, and Twitter. The perpetrators were believed to be hackers in support of Syrian government seeking to breach Australian Internet Company tasked in managing major site addresses. The Syrian Electronic Army has been identified as a hacker or cyber terrorist group that has attacked major media outlets in the past. The group targets media organizations it considers as hostile to the regime of President Bashar Al Assad in Syria. The cyber terrorists affirmed they had cyber attacked The Huffington Post and Twitter by sending various twitter messages. An investigation indicated New York Times website was directing the users to a server that is controlled by the Syrian cyber terrorist group. This affirmed that they were the perpetrators of the cyber attacks experienced by the three major media outlets.
He noted that FBI, Department of Homeland Security, National Security Agency, and United States Intelligence Community have been combating similar incidences. They however have to prioritize high-level intrusions, those identified as the biggest and most dangerous state-sponsored cyber threats. They however lack the systems required to predict and prevent cyber attacks rather than reacting after they occur as they rely on computer scientists using technical abilities and traditional investigative techniques.
The cyber attacks that have been witnessed across United States prove that cyber spaces’ dynamic nature ought to be addressed by implementing policies that are equally dynamic. According to Steven Bucci, Paul Rosenzweig, and David Inserra, cyber terror attacks have been harming America’s crucial infrastructures fostering growth and development. Thus, cyber security status quo should be identified as unstable and at risk of enormous and growing threats. Congressional actions harnessing the power of the United States industry and ingenuity in order to safeguard citizens and corporations freedoms and privacies should be enhanced. The United States Government Accountability Office states that federal government can improve overall cyber security.
The Congress however should adopt legislations actually improving the security of the country’s cyberspaces. The legislations ought to address the following issues. Foremost, they should provide robust protection for private and individual liberties and freedoms. They should also enable information sharing while encouraging development of viable cyber security insurance systems. Consequently, cyber self-defense standards can be defined and adopted by public and private sectors to foster cyber supply chain security ratings. Promoting general awareness by educating and training American citizens to ensure their private cyberspaces are safe is however crucial. This will ensure responsible national and international cyber engagements are safe without facing threats from phishers and hackers. These measures can affirm Robert’s sentiments that cyber insecurities can be predicted and combated.
Law agencies such as State and federal security departments should therefore target national and international cyber security threats. Local police departments can help with local cases of cyber threats. Ultimately, jurisdictional issues determining how law agencies are awarded resources to combat cyber threats can be resolved. United States should therefore pass a law addressing cyber intelligence and information sharing in order to protect American citizens as well as socio, economic, and political infrastructures. The legal regulations however, should neither be slow nor cumbersome as technology is fast moving and very dynamic. Lastly, the regulations should be updated regularly to keep up with technological growth and development.