Following the rise in the use of the internet all over the world, the threat of digital crime as well as digital terrorism has also been on the rise. Although some of the crimes are reasonably not detrimental and commonplace, others are very serious and can result in serious damages not only to the economy, but to the society at large.
The common threats of digital crime as well as digital terrorism are key concerns of decision-makers all over the globe. Over the years, there has been an evolution of the methods used by individual terrorists as well as terrorist organizations. Previously, hijackings and kidnappings were carried out, but these forms of terrorism changed to more complex attacks being carried out against computer networks and infrastructure.
The Relevance of Common Current Forms in the Context of Digital Crime and Digital Terrorism
In the present times, the internet is a very essential tool in the hands of criminals as well as terrorist organizations. This is due to the fact that they use the internet to carry out a number of activities within their ranks and file. Such terrorist groups use the internet during organization, recruitment, fundraising, propaganda as well as execution of their activities (Ozeren, 2005).
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In most cases, these terrorist organizations also have websites to ease networking, which is a testament of their resilience. Additionally, the internet assists them in their command as well as control functions. As a matter of fact, with the use of the internet, digital criminals and digital terrorists are now in a position of going global harm (Sherman, 2005).
It is vital to understand that an attack through the use of computers can take a number of forms. In most cases, these methods are used in causing an increasing amount of disruption, inconvenience, and destruction not only to the affected networks, but also to the users. According to many analysts, digital crime and digital terrorism ranges from stealthy and conceivably destructive to devastating activities (Ozeren, 2005). The more complex an attack is, the more amount of computer knowledge is required for the attack.
One of the current common forms of digital crime is electronic attack. This involves the use of the power of electromagnetic energy as a weapon to overload computer circuitry. It is also used in inserting a stream of malicious digital code directly into an energy microwave radio transmission (Ozeren, 2005). Sometimes, digital criminals use computer network attacks, a mechanism in which a weapon is used to exploit a weakness in software.
The Evolution of the Forms of Digital Crime and Digital Terrorism
In the cyberspace, there has been a gradual shift from the conventional criminal activities to more worthwhile and less precarious operations. Previously, traditional criminals would seek the cooperation of e-criminals with the necessary technical skills; however, the new types of digital criminal networks operate in the area of e-crime.
Today, digital crime is conducted within the multi-skilled, versatile virtual criminal network centers on online meetings. Unlike before, these digital criminal networks are structured on stand alone basis, with members barely meeting each other in person. At times, they do not even have virtual contacts with their accomplices. The sophistication of their structures coupled with the fact that access to their core operations is only given to trusted accomplices makes detection by law enforcement officials very difficult (Sherman, 2005).
Additionally, the digital age has permitted the radical terrorist groups to shift from minute traditional meetings and planning to large worldwide communications and planning on a global stage with the use of the internet as well as technology. The internet permitted a message board for extremists to offer training with the growth of satellite as well as cellular phones and computer access. Today, digital terrorists use car bombs, which are detonated from cell phones.
The Cause Theories Associated with Digital Crime and Digital Terrorism
One of the most important aspects that help to frame a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy is to understand the motivations as well as the causes of digital crime and digital terrorism. In most cases, terrorists see themselves as justifiable geopolitical players. However, a number of them are nothing more than bunch of criminals or thrill-kill cults (Borgeson & Valeri, 2009). By and large, there are sociological, psychological, as well as criminological theories that are vital in understanding digital crime and digital terrorism from a theoretical effort. In criminology, several theories tend to take on more than the explanation of offender mindsets and behavior.
Theory of anarchism
In as much as many anarchists reject terrorism in its vanguard varieties, in theoretical sense, anarchism rationalizes terrorism as a form of criminal action. This is mainly due to the fact that it confronts the ideals of a structured contented social order. In many ways, anarchism is a theory of control that discards any form of fundamental or outside authority (Borgeson & Valeri, 2009). Instead, it prefers to substitution it with alternative forms of organization such as shaming of rituals for deviants. By and large, it is the 19th century roots of terrorism. It is the form of notion that advocates for a gratis and one and the same access to all the world’s resources.
The theory of anarchism glorifies the aspect of destruction with the idea of murder-suicide making up the highest form of revolutionary resistance. In most cases, the use of mass destruction is advocated. The targets are mainly innocent people, symbols of economic success, or key personalities (Borgeson & Valeri, 2009).
Political theory of fascism as a theory of terrorism
Fascism is actually born out of insecurity as well as a sense of failure. Its trademarks are usually envy and false grievance, with lies and conspiracies being loved by the leaders. This theory supports crime and terrorism at home and abroad. In most cases, frustrated fascists who are unsuccessful in gaining control of their own nations historically turn to terrorism (Borgeson & Valeri, 2009).
The philosophical theory of religion as a theory of terrorism
Many criminologists argue that disciplines of religion, theology, and philosophy are pertinent when it comes to the root causes of terrorism. As a matter of fact, many terrorist groups are primarily motivated by religious concerns. According to most of them, God not only does approve their actions, but also demands their actions (Borgeson & Valeri, 2009). This makes their cause sacred, being combined with a sense of hope for the future as well as a vengeance of the past. Most terrorists invoke the name of religion as a way of convincing believers or the converted. Religion therefore serves as a moral cover for egotistical terrorists and psychopaths.
Globalization theory of terrorism
Advocates of digital crime and digital terrorism argue that the globalization theory is actually tied to ideas about imperialism, colonization as well as neocolonialism. This is a vital factor since it touches on the inequalities in the distribution of scarce resources (Borgeson & Valeri, 2009).
When a section of citizens believes that they are absolutely or relatively deprived, they tend to rebel. In many ways, citizens in most third world countries are worse off now than they were few decades ago. On the other hand, some countries have enriched themselves over years. As a result, some terrorists feel that the West ought to be continuously subjected to terrorist acts (Borgeson & Valeri, 2009).
Strategies for Reducing Digital Crime and Digital Terrorism
A sizable percentage of the society today lives in the cyber world. In this regard, governments must be entrusted with safeguarding and entrusting personal and sensitive information in their electronic databases. Over the years, there have appeared many digital criminals and digital terrorists targeting government systems (PSC, 2012).
Consequently, securing these systems is not only a matter of operational efficiency, but also a matter of national security, sovereignty as well as defending the citizenry. This includes protecting the integrity of national economies as well as the military and law enforcement staff. Hence it is imperative for governments to strengthen their capability to detect, deter, and defend against digital crime and digital terrorism (PSC, 2012).
Strengthening and Securing Cyber Systems
One of the ways of eliminating digital crime and digital terrorism is by strengthening and securing cyber systems. In this regard, the governments should be in a position of developing new technology or practice adopted to enhance cyber security (PSC, 2012). Additionally, there is a need to continue investing in systems and expertise as well governing frameworks in order to keep pace with evolving threats.
Governments all over the world should also enhance the security of their cyber architecture. This will go a long way in reducing the number of internet gateways into computer systems, in addition to taking the appropriate measures to secure the systems (Sherman, 2005).
Enhancing Cyber Security Awareness all over the World
In order to reduce these forms of crime, clear roles as well as responsibilities within governments and the private sectors need to be outlined. This is vital in successfully securing cyber systems which are largely dependent on employees. In line with this, passwords need to be changed on a regular basis (PSC, 2012). Additionally, employees need to avoid assuming that office email systems are secure. The issue of importing malicious viruses into the places of work should also be abolished.
Partnering with Critical Infrastructure Sectors and the Private Sector
Most of the risks and consequences of digital crime and digital terrorism are usually shared between the private sectors and governments (PSC, 2012). This is largely because unreliable technology is harmful to the administration, including the private sector. When both parties work in tandem, it becomes easier to identify the risks which are bound to emerge.
A strengthened public/private sector partnership is vital in collaborating on wide-ranging critical infrastructure issues like cyber security and process control systems (PSC, 2012). These systems are vital in keeping machines and factories safe, thereby safeguarding critical infrastructures. For instance, they keep dams from overflowing and also prevent the collapse of transport networks and electrical grids (Janczewski & Colarik, 2008).
Combating Digital Crime and Digital Terrorism
In order to reduce digital crime and digital terrorism, law enforcement agencies should be able to combat these activities with outdated investigative powers and tools (PSC, 2012). Consequently, they have to be adequately equipped by providing them with new legislative authorities as well as supporting financial wherewithal.
Protecting Citizens Online
By and large, families want their confidentiality, individualities as well as physical interests to be safe from digital criminals as well as digital terrorists. This is mainly due to the fact that many people use the internet for sensitive transactions with others keeping sensitive information on their computers (PSC, 2012). Therefore, people need to be informed on ways of strengthening their own cyber security practices like updating antivirus protection and altering their passwords frequently.
In most parts of the Western world, including the United States, personal and professional lives have gone digital. Today, many people live, work, and entertain in the cyberspace. People use computers, the internet, mobile devices, and cell phones to text, talk, and chat with colleagues, friends, and family members. A number of businesses ranging from banking to shopping as well as accessing government services are done online,. It is therefore vital for governments to protect the society from digital crime as well as digital terrorism by all means.
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