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As a cyber terrorist, I would target a critical infrastructure because of their role in the economy. Critical infrastructure refers to assets that are fundamental to the functioning of the society and the economy. Some of the critical infrastructures include electricity generation, water supply, public health, security services and the financial services. In my case, I would launch a very hard cyber attack on the financial services industry because of its role as the driver of the economy. This industry is composed of a broad range of organizations that focus on money management.
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The organizations that I would greatly affect and reduce their capacity to provide services to their clients include banks, insurance companies, investment funds, credit card companies and other financial service provider organizations. My attack would bring the financial service industry to it knees and the resounding effect would deal a great blow to all the sectors of the economy. This is because the financial sector in the United States represents one fifth of market capitalization and all other sectors rely on it for money services. My imagination on the effect this attack would have on the global trade would be too huge to contemplate. Just imagine a situation where current exchange is unavailable, wire transfer services cannot work, online payments cannot be used, credit and debit cards look obsolete and payment requests cannot be executed.
In the execution of this attack, I would launch a cyber worm from my personal computer in my room and target a number of these institutions. By simply sending a worm in the form of a program, the message would go direct into the security systems of these organizations. While I know so well that most of these institutions have installed devices and instituted measures to protect them from cyber attack, the truth is that cyber security and the protection of our critical infrastructure is still not perfect. This means that there is always a chance of getting through and those times are best when the institutions are busy offering their services to their clients. The chances of the worm spreading like bush fire are more at these times than other times when the activities are low.
A simple unmonitored mail opened by a staff in federal bank has the capacity to affect all other banks and financial institutions that that share any form of communication via the internet. My plan will be to plant a numerous, let me say millions of these messages containing the worm not only to the federal bank but also to a number of banking institutions and financial service providers.
The ability to mitigate any kind of cyber attack against any institution or critical infrastructure depends fully on the capacity to detect the possibility before it occurs. This early information would be the most critical tool in mitigating the cyber attack. As a patriotic member of the community, I would use this information to notify the relevant authorities on the intended attack. This would involve giving in as much details as possible about what I know of the attack. In this case, I would move with speed to the department of homeland security and relay my piece of detailed information. In recognizing that cyber attack remains a very sensitive security issue and is regarded as an act of terror, I would be meticulous with my information to the best of my ability. This is because I have with me the chance to save my country billions of dollars and my fellow countrymen untold suffering. In conclusion, the effect of a cyber attack on any critical infrastructure has along term effect in our entire economy and our ability to detect any intention is our greatest weapon.