Since the Internet has become so omnipresent, its power is unimaginable. The World Wide Web has led to many innovations in technology as well as improvements in communication. These advancements facilitate commonplace activities, such as conversing with friends or finding information for a research paper. This makes pervasive, modern technology seem harmless when, in fact, it carries many risks as well. Cyberterrorism can harm populations on a variety of levels, from local to global.
Some of the most prominent sites in the world are social networking sites. With almost 845 million users worldwide, sites like Facebook and Twitter are easily accessible to almost anyone with Internet access, even terrorists. These adversaries take advantage of the information systems to recruit because they “[allow] members to coordinate quickly with large numbers of followers” (“Weapons”). This makes social networking sites especially useful to terrorists. Besides facilitating communication, these sites are also useful for gathering information regarding foreign governments and politics. “Criminal groups, nation-states, terrorists and military organizations are at work exfiltrating [sic] vast amounts of data from the U. S. public and private sectors.” Yet one may think it would be nearly impossible to achieve popularity as a known terrorist on Facebook. To recruit and spread information without being turned in would serve as a hurdle to his or her success. However, many adversaries obtain information and reach potential followers by phishing, “whereby criminals pretending to be bank employees, for example, trick the gullible into revealing account numbers and passwords” (Zuckerman). By utilizing fake profiles and accounts, terrorists can anonymously exploit other users as well. Although Facebook and Twitter are commonly used as an instrument for terrorism, they are not the only way to obtain knowledge.
Another aspect of the Internet that facilitates terrorism is YouTube and other video sharing sites. Just about anyone could post a video on any topic, allowing the world to see. “Terror groups are using the Internet to recruit, radicalize and incite terrorism, he said. They are posting videos on how to build backpack bombs and bioweapons” (Nakashima). Whichever mode or information terrorists use, all involve the extraction of large amounts of data.
Satellite technology is another way terrorists can get their hands on information or reach other members, especially through Google Earth and GPS devices. These instruments can identify targets and provide directions for any given person. Utilizing this tool, adversaries can easily pinpoint a specific location and launch more accurate attacks because they “knew the most direct routes to reach [locations] in part because they had studied satellite photos from Google Earth” (Kahn). This powerful combination of the Internet and satellites improve accuracy and eases foreign attacks of those unfamiliar with the terrain....