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Cyber terrorism, by definition, is the politically motivated use of computers and information technology to cause severe disruption or widespread fear in society. The Center for Strategic and International Studies reported in March 2019 that Chinese Hackers targeted at least 27 Universities to steal Naval Technologies research, being one of many cyber-terrorist attacks. Besides these attacks, Hacktivism is a cyber-attack either by legal or illegal digital means in the pursuit of political ends, free speech, and the right of free speech. A most notable example would be the group Anonymous conducting numerous hacks from 2008 to 2012 against companies, organizations, and even governments that go against their moral codes. Behind the Tunisia Operation in 2010, Anonymous took down eight government websites with DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks in support of Arab Spring movements. Between the two Cyberterrorism is meant to instill fear and panic in society. At the same time, Hacktivism brings about a voice or an opposition to the government and other organizations to support a cause against them. Hacktivism is more politically based, pointing out flaws in the system raising awareness on our rights as human beings. Advances in technology lead to newer and different types of attacks either group can conduct. From viruses waiting for you to log into your bank account to massive-scale attacks against the banks’ systems themselves, terrorists, or hacktivists, have infinite ways to infiltrate and attack for their cause. Many laws have been put in place to combat these groups, acts put in place such as Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) or Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 helping share information and build research and development to fight against cyber-attacks. Given the push against both groups by our government, I can’t help but feel concern for our rights and freedoms that may be infringed upon that our government or some corporation is doing while combating the whistleblower with Hacktivist tactics. It only keeps me and others mindful while fighting against cyberattacks that may be classified as cyberterrorism. There is a fine line on what would be a genuine noble act of hacking or something labeled as cyberterrorism placing information and lives at risk, its not so black and white as some areas can be considered grey. Thankfully some events in history, thanks to Hacktivism has brought good results that benefit society, such as Operation “Nice” which organized to hunt down the terrorist responsible for attacks in the French city, killing nearly a hundred people. Also, Operation Darknet which infiltrated 40 child pornography websites publishing 1500 plus names of frequent visitors to the sites stopping such activity. In these instances, I am for hacktivism and specific groups that act for the benefit of society and our rights as humans.
Cyberterrorism. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/cyberterrorism?s=ts (Links to an external site.)
Hacktivism 101: A Brief History and Timeline of Notable Incidents. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/us/security/news/cyber-attacks/hacktivism-101-a-brief-history-of-notable-incidents (Links to an external site.)
Major Events and Hacktivism #OpOlympicHacking. (2018, February 1). Retrieved from https://www.rsa.com/en-us/blog/2016-08/major-events-and-hacktivism-opolympichacking (Links to an external site.)
Singh, H. (n.d.). A Glance At The United States Cyber Security Laws. Retrieved from https://www.appknox.com/blog/united-states-cyber-security-laws

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