Terrorism, violence, criminal culture, cyber terrorism, phone-hacking and digital warfare, allshare the same basic elements. The issue of cyber terrorism or information war has become the centre of considerable attention in the United Kingdom that faces a combination of threats including cyber attacks, instability, sectarianism, extremism, international terrorism, foreign espionage, arms and narco-smuggling.
The threat of nuclear terrorism, improvised explosive devices, nuclear explosive devices and the smuggling of plutonium in capsules by Asian and European smugglers need considerable attention on both private and government levels. Computer war or digital warfarepower of India, Russia and China and their joint efforts in retrieving important data from Asian and European state and private institutions created alarming situation as they lose important military and financial data every year.
India and Russia have intensified their efforts to meet the challenges of online traffic of important defense and financial data. On May 05, 2012, Indian Union Minister, P. Chidambaram warned: "There are terrorist threats in the cyberspace, which is the fifth domain after land, sea, air and space. Much of our critical infrastructure lies in cyberspace. Cyber crimes such as hacking, financial fraud, data theft, espionage etc. would, in certain circumstances, amount to terrorist acts. Our counter terrorism (CT) capacity must be able to meet the threats in cyberspace." Cyber technology has become an important weapon in the hands of terrorists who not only destroy institutions but divert the traffic of information to unspecified destiny.
The recent cyber attack against Iran's principle uranium enrichment facilities opened a new chapter in the information warfare. The US Stuxnet attack against Iran atomic sites is considered to be a potential capability of cyber war interventions.According to intelligence reports,Lashkar-e-Toiba extremist group once used voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) software to communicate with its networks. An Indian intelligence report claimed that LeT has the capability to launch cyber attacks from its bases.
Not only LeT, some UK based extremist and militant groups have trained their members in the field of cyber terrorism and the use of cyber technology. Their way and language of communication is very complicated. Some received training in secret bases and some are software specialists who know the way of diverting online and off-line traffic to their bases. To effectively counter their ways of attacks against government institutions and security infrastructure, India is about to prepare National Cyber Security Architecture and plans to have permanent consultations with National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). Information technology and the UK intelligence agencies are playing effective role in keeping safe the country's national critical infrastructure and there is a good research based efforts within GCHQ to counter the looming threats in cyberspace.
Last year, the United States Office of Counterintelligence Executive (ONCIX) released a comprehensive report which documented the loss of billions of dollars of intellectual property and classified information every year. The report (Foreign Spies Stealing US Economic Secrets in Cyberspace) suggested that Russian and Chinese cyber warriors are systematically targeting government institutions and private sector businesses. Washington Post reported that the US Defense Advance Research Project Agency (DARPA) has developed visions of building the cyberspace equivalent of an armored tank to engage on the global battlefield of digital warfare.
According to a German parliamentary document, armed forces have established a secret cyber warfare unit which is in operation. This offensive capacity of the German army has been disclosed for the first time while cyber units of the armed forces have been struggling since 1990's to defend their country's electronic infrastructure. "The initial capacity to operate in hostile networks has been achieved; the unit did "simulations" of attacks in aclosed laboratory environment,"the document added.
Various confirmed intelligence reports recently indicated that German police and army have set up various cyber defense centers to intensify the fight against cyber warriors. German intelligence has also gained a lot of experience in the fight against hostile cyber states. Recent reports of German secretagencies confirm the growing interest among Chinese cyber warriors to infiltrate government institutional networks. Professor of law at European University Viadrina, Frankfurt in Germany, Dr Wolff Heintschel Von Heinegg revealed in one of his statement that armed forces of various states are trying to build up an offensive cyber capabilities. Eugene Kaspersky urges that Internet is considered to be a war zone with information as the prize and demanded for online international police force to control the expanding war climate.
As we have been experiencing violent attacks of extremist networks and al-Qaeda in the UK trying to develop secret ways of stealing information data and disrupt security networks, these groups have the capabilities to fight in the field of information warfare. Now these networks and al-Qaeda are said to have turned their attention to cyber-warfare against the state institutions and security infrastructure of the country. Their covert Mujahedeen are expert of electronic jihad across the glob.
Fordham Law Centre on National Security in its cyber brief bulletin (April 30, 2012) revealed that cyber warfare has badly affected the United States economy and institutional framework. US House of Representative recently passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) which will remove legal barriers that discourage the sharing of cyber threat information between businesses and government agencies. US Defense Department is going to implement a new surveillance system, Passive Vulnerability Scanner that will provide 3-D models of network weaknesses.
Al-Qaeda, UK based extremist and international terror networks are seeking to disrupt the Olympics Games security infrastructure and create a threatening environment, intelligence reports warned. Cyber espionage is on the rise while it can put in danger the whole security infrastructure of the United Kingdom. The threat of cyber attacks either state sponsored, hacktivist-led or supported by cyber criminal networks have strong possibilities during the London Olympic Games. In its recent bulletin (Strategic Outlook: 2012 Summer Olympic Games), National Cyber Security and Communication Integration Centre has warned that scams, malware campaigns and attacks are possible during the Olympics Games in London.
The issue of other kind of threats like the proliferation of cyber spies into the security system is matter of great concern as the rising numbers of laptops and smart-phones linked to workplace networks have little security.As Internet will be playing important role in the London Olympic Games, therefore, direct attacks against the Olympic computer, electronically maintaining security infrastructure and electronic attacks carried out by professional criminal groups are expected.