How Does Cyber Terrorism Affect Society?

Cyberterrorism is a quite complex term and difficult to define as well. Many organizations define cyber terrorism according to their understanding and make it more difficult to understand sometimes. It wouldn’t be wrong if we say cyber terrorism supports the idea of creating worldwide economic crises, loss of life, and immense environmental damage by hacking into critical infrastructure.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the US, it is a politically motivated attack against computer programs, information, data, and computer systems.

Unlike an ordinary virus or phishing attack, which results in a DDoS, the FBI defines a cyber-terrorist attack as openly causing physical harm. According to the US Commission of Critical Infrastructure Protection, cyberterrorist attacks include military installation, banking industry, air traffic control, power plants, and water system. Yet, It is still difficult to decide between the information security community and various governments on what qualifies as an act of Cyberterrorism.

Example of Cyber Terrorism

Act of Cyberterrorism can be performed over a private computer, against devices and networks available in public, and secured government networks or other secured networks. Hackers break into the system to introduce viruses to vulnerable websites, networks, launch DoS attacks, or make threats over the network. Following are the examples of Cyberterrorism.

1. Targeting Critical Infrastructure

Cyberterrorists target infrastructure systems to cause a regional power breakdown, disable water systems, or disrupt a pipeline. These attacks cause disturbance in cities, jeopardize the public safety of millions of people, and create panic among people and the government. Such attacks cause serious damage, and it takes time for the government to reverse the impact of the damage.

Proper security planning is highly required to prevent the damage that can cause people’s well-being. Society as a whole has to suffer and face big losses due to the same. It leaves a negative psychological impact on the people.

2. Hacking Major Websites

Hackers usually take over the major websites to create uncertainty for the public or abstain from accessing the website with content that hackers don’t want people to know by psychological terrorism. These actions involve financial losses to the organization. Hackers look for loopholes in the victim’s system and gain access to the websites.

3. Attacks on Military Control Centre

Cyberterrorists, those who work internationally, gain access to military technology to disable or modify the signals. Such acts are performed to achieve the desired goal and give immense damage. The military pays a hefty amount to protect their control centers as it possesses high risk and people involved directly.

Since it involves the military, therefore there is a higher risk involved. All we can say is that attacks on the military control center leave devasted effects on society.

List of Cyber Terrorism Effects on Society

Following is the list of the most common impact of cyber terrorism on the lives of common people:

  • Harm well-being of people
  • Create stress and anxiety
  • Halt public confidence
  • Build threat perception
  • Distress in a political environment.  
  • Psychological
  • Destroy economy  


Cyberterrorism is becoming more prominent on social media today. Dependence on the internet is quickly increasing worldwide,  and let the cyber terrorists to play on international platforms. It is a cheaper mode of terrorism as it doesn’t require any weapon cost, and identity is also hidden.

Cyberterrorists feel more freedom and can give more damage virtually. Cyberterrorism needs to be dealt with at the government level, and laws should be implemented to counter these threats and punish the culprits as per the land law. I will conclude this by saying that Cyberterrorism is a future. If it is not dealt with timely, then damage will be irreversible.

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