Until recently, the main targets of cyberterrorism were state institutions. Now the situation has changed and now business has become the goal. Therefore, companies and other organizations must ensure that every IoT device is protected and inaccessible through open networks.
For protection, organizations need to:
regularly create backups of systems;
carry out continuous monitoring of networks;
use antivirus software and protection tools;
implement two-factor or multi-factor authentication;
restrict access to confidential and important data.
To improve cybersecurity in the United States, the National Cyber Security Alliance was created to raise awareness of cybersecurity among citizens. He suggests training employees in security procedures, as well as how to detect malware and cyber attacks.
Types of hackers
Hacker in a white hat (White Hat Hacker)
These are experienced highly qualified hackers with knowledge in the field of cybersecurity. White hackers work for governments or organizations and are officially allowed to break into systems. They use vulnerabilities in the system to hack it and assess the level of cybersecurity of the organization.
The task of white hackers is to detect weaknesses in the system and strengthen them to repel external threats. White hackers adhere to the guidelines set by the government.
Hacker in a black hat (Black Hat Hacker)
These are experienced computer specialists and important participants in cyberterrorism. Black hackers always have criminal motives – they get into systems to steal confidential data or damage the system. They use different hacking methods, depending on their level of skills and knowledge.
As a rule, they sell stolen resources in the darkweb, use them for personal purposes or extort money for the return of data from the victim.
The Hacker in the grey hat (Grey Hat Hacker)
This is a hacker or an information security specialist who can sometimes break laws, but does not have malicious intent, typical for a hacker in a black hat. Such hackers may have both criminal and ethical intentions. In this case, a hacker is classified as a gray hacker if the motive is personal gain.
The hacker in the green hat (Green Hat Hacker)
These are novice hackers. Their goal is to work hard and get the necessary skills to become experienced hackers.
The Hacker in the red hat (Red Hat Hacker)
These hackers are like white hackers. Their goal is to prevent an attack by black hackers. Red hackers do not defend themselves, but fight back. Hackers in red hats launch full-scale attacks against cybercriminals using a range of aggressive methods.
The hacker in the blue hat (Blue Hat Hacker)
They use hacking as a tool to gain the trust of other hackers. These are amateur hackers who are not interested in learning the specifics of hacking. Hackers in a blue hat are dangerous participants in cyberterrorism not because they know how to hack, but because they have malicious goals.
The hacker in the yellow hat (Yellow Hat Hacker)
They focus on hacking social media accounts using various tools. Because of its malicious purposes, this type of hacker is comparable to a hacker in a black hat. Often a hacker in a yellow hat is also called a hacker in a purple hat.
The hacker in the purple hat (Purple Hat Hacker)
A hacker in a purple hat is testing his own computers to test his cybersecurity and hacking skills.
These hackers seek to hack official websites. At the same time, they pose as activists, hence the name “hacktivists”. A hacktivist is a person or group of anonymous hackers seeking to gain access to government networks and websites. Data obtained from available government documents are used to obtain social or political benefits on an individual basis.
Is hacktivism a crime?
The methods used by hacktivists are illegal and constitute a kind of cybercrime. But law enforcement agencies rarely pay attention to such crimes, so they often go unpunished. The damage caused by hacking is usually small, and it can be difficult for law enforcement agencies to pinpoint hackers.
The causes of cyberterrorism
Cyberattacks can have a variety of motives, but most of them are financial in nature. However, as practice shows, hackers are becoming more politically motivated.
What is the difference between cyberwar and cyberterrorism?
Cyberwar is a kind of information warfare, and it is limited to the Internet. Cyberwar and information warfare have specific goals in the conflict, and cyberterrorism is massive and harms anyone who falls into the zone of influence of intruders.
How cyberattacks affect society
Power shortages, equipment failures and the disclosure of confidential national security information can all be caused by cyber attacks. They can lead to the theft of secret and personal information, as well as disable IT systems, telephone, computer networks and block access to data.
The most common types of cybercrime
Phishing and related types of fraud were the most common cybercrimes reported to the US Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) in 2021, which affected about 324 thousand people. In addition, IC3 received reports of approximately 52,000 cases of personal data leakage in the same year.
How Cyberterrorism can Affect Physical Infrastructure
Attackers seek to damage or disrupt critical infrastructure that provides essential services, especially those related to government and finance.
By disrupting the operation of IT systems that control physical processes, cybercriminals can damage the physical infrastructure, even without having physical access to the target of the attack. Such attacks damage private enterprises and endanger national security. In order to effectively protect systems, it is extremely important that the government and the business sector work together.
It is not necessary not to link terrorism in the digital world with terrorism in the real world. It would be more correct to consider cyberterrorism as an operational strategy aimed at achieving a certain psychological result. Despite the amount of information and policy in the field of cyberterrorism, this activity is “at the start” and is just beginning to expand.