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Internet based Terrorism

Context

  • There is new world of cyber-planners carrying out terror attacks, identifying recruits, acting as a virtual coachers and providing guidance throughout.
  • The series of attacks were performed using “remote-controlled” methods, using actual operative as a remote. High Grade explosives such as TATP (TriacetoneTriperoxide) was used.
  • Both ‘direct to home jihad’ and the ‘lone wolf’ syndrome have gained new meanings.

Recent attacks on the pretext of cyber terrorism

  • Attacks are being carried out using lone-wolf strategy and Finsbury Mosque attack in London on June 19th, 2017 shows the world the ugly face of world terrorism that has encircled everyone.
  • the idea is to create  fear among commoners and the 22nd May 2017 terror attack at a concert of Ariana Grande killing 23 people is an example.
  • On June 3rd 2017, a van at Westminster bridge rammed and killed 8 and injured more than 40.
  • the attacks are conducted in a hideous manner where the location or the existence of any organisation behind the attacks remain uncertain due to the extensive use of advanced cyber technologies.

Region of attacks

  • It is interesting to note that the region of such terror attacks have now shifted from non-developed area to developed. Europe is considered to have highest level of Intelligence security but with the recent attacks, the conclusion drawn is such that no place is safe enough from terrorism.
  • Public places like always are being targeted, Gay clubs, Concerts, Markets, Religious places. The carrying out of attacks is also importance, the person in most of the cases is not an outsider but of the same nation.
  • The idea of remote planning- lone wolf has been explored and explained behind such terror attacks.

Causes of Cyber-terrorism

  • The population today is turning towards internet in a faster pace and there are numerous dark-net websites catering to the interested audience.
  • Exploration is natural tendency and terrorists are using such platform to entice such audience with their matter
  • The websites use their local language, slogans that are catchy, and hurt them in an area which is sacred to them for example religion.
  • They target professional journalists as well, there are press releases on their websites.
  • Their website portray that they are fighting a psychological warfare and use internet as a platform for their campaigns.
  • They consider internet to be the best platform for publicity. People even who don’t believe in their agenda gets hitched to the very concept of terror website.

Are there any remedies available?

  • Defense mechanism dealing with internet based crime is broadly divided into two forms of defense, namely, passive and active defense.
  • Passive defense uses various technologies and products such as firewalls, cryptography and procedures like dial-in to protect the Information Technology (IT) assets.
  • Passive defense however is used against virus attacks. The recent attack was by the virus wannacry ransomeware  creating a huge outcry.
  • Active defense imposes serious risks and penalty on the attacker. Risks can be in form of identification, exposure, investigations, exposure, prosecution, counter attacks.
  • Individuals should avoid disclosing any personal information to strangers via e-mail or while chatting, they persuasive way of controller is to play with their mind.
  • Parents need to keep a watch on the sites that their children are accessing. The targets nowadays are mostly teenagers.
  • Web servers running public sites must be physically separately protected from internal corporate network.
  • Strict statutory laws need to be passed by the Legislatures keeping in mind the interest of citizens.
  • IT department should pass certain guidelines for the protection of computer system and should also bring out strict laws.

India on Cyber terrorism

  • With chunk of terrorism experts saying that Internet has proven effective only at spreading ideology but have failed extensively when used as a planning and operational tool.
  • On an instance of Mumbai terror attack in November 2008, the plan was carried out by the terrorist actually trained at physical camps.
  • Terrorism expert Peter Bergen said, “We talk about the Internet being important for terrorism, which I think is ridiculous. The people who did the Mumbai attack didn’t sit around reading about how to do the attacks on the internet. They actually went to a training camp in Muzaffarabad for several months.”
  • There is no law dealing with the prevention off any cyber-attack, except for an analogous provision:

1. Protection available under the Constitution of India-

a) A supreme court document providing protection is the strongest and safest.

2. Protection available under other statues.

a) Protection under the Indian Penal Code (I/P/C/0, 1860, and

b) Protection under the Information Technology Act (ITA), 2000.

 Conclusion

Nothing seems more threatening than Terrorism in today’s world. Everyday a new attack surfaces the news, especially in the developed nations. Terrorism has surpassed the earlier non-traditional, non-state actors. This need breeds of terrorism called ‘Radicalized terrorists’ have intelligently used internet to cause terror. One of the ways to be safeguard is to be an informed society. We also need to use the same technology i.e., the internet to counter the cyber terrorism. Since it is a crime affecting all the nations, there needs to arrange more and more of International forum like Global Counterterrorism Forum.

Information Technology Act of India

May 2000 saw the rise of IT Bill, it received assent of President in August 2000 and became an Act. Cyber laws are contained under the IT Act, 2000. AIM- to provide legal infrastructure for e-commerce in India. The Information Technology Act, 2000 also aims to provide for the legal framework so that legal sanctity … Continue reading “Information Technology Act of India”

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What is remote planning?

Little or no dependence on the location and existence of the mastermind, the plotters are anonymous. The handling is performed through the use of internet, keeping the identity of the plotter anonymous. Carrying and shifting of arms gets easier. Connection between the lone actor and the remote controller is facilitated by the growth of social … Continue reading “What is remote planning?”

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What is Lone-Actor Terrorism?

A continuum of connections to likeminded extremists and lone-actors getting involved in varying level of communication and affiliations. Re-examine the concept of lone-actor terrorism, as there is always a foreign terrorist organization connection with such an attack carried. Lone-actor terrorism may or may not have any remote that is controlling them but there always remain … Continue reading “What is Lone-Actor Terrorism?”

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DARK NET, a deep hideous space

A small part of the deep web (things that your typical search engine can’t find like government databases, libraries). An anonymous internet, the contents are not accessible through search engines. Both the web surfers and website publishers are entirely anonymous and can be achieved by Onion network. Used by Activists and revolutionaries to organize themselves … Continue reading “DARK NET, a deep hideous space”

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