ABSTRACT

Cyberwarfare and Cyberterrorism: In Brief [March 27, 2015]   [open pdf - 303KB]

"Recent incidents have highlighted the lack of consensus internationally on what defines a cyberattack, an act of war in cyberspace, or cyberterrorism. Cyberwar is typically conceptualized as state-on-state action equivalent to an armed attack or use of force in cyberspace that may trigger a military response with a proportional kinetic use of force. Cyberterrorism can be considered 'the premeditated use of disruptive activities, or the threat thereof, against computers and/or networks, with the intention to cause harm or further social, ideological, religious, political or similar objectives, or to intimidate any person in furtherance of such objectives.' Cybercrime includes unauthorized network breaches and theft of intellectual property and other data; it can be financially motivated, and response is typically the jurisdiction of law enforcement agencies. Within each of these categories, different motivations as well as overlapping intent and methods of various actors can complicate response options. Criminals, terrorists, and spies rely heavily on cyber-based technologies to support organizational objectives. Cyberterrorists are state-sponsored and non-state actors who engage in cyberattacks to pursue their objectives. Cyberspies are individuals who steal classified or proprietary information used by governments or private corporations to gain a competitive strategic, security, financial, or political advantage. Cyberthieves are individuals who engage in illegal cyberattacks for monetary gain. Cyberwarriors are agents or quasi-agents of nation-states who develop capabilities and undertake cyberattacks in support of a country's strategic objectives. Cyberactivists are individuals who perform cyberattacks for pleasure, philosophical, political, or other nonmonetary reasons."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43955
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2015-03-27
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
Help with citations