Cyber Terrorism and it’s Threat in India

This blog is inscribed by Vandana Tiwari

With development comes disaster. It is an age old ritual, when the human world burgeons they are exposed to hidden shortcomings that no one in their right mind could have thought. Cyber terrorism being that element that the people of 21st century are not aware of. It is a risk since the advent of the internet. Along with the development of technology cyber terrorism is also growing at a rapid. Cyber terrorism has become popular in recent years, especially with the rapidly developing technology and the increasing dependence of the human race on the internet and social media. This article focuses on how technological advance and   development in internet has become a new weapon of destruction for terrorism.


The act of terrorism is one of the most concerning and important area of security for almost countries. Terrorism has a history of more than two thousand years and date back to 48AD were by the jurist resistance group carried out attacks against the Romans. This campaign involved the infiltration of Roman cities to assassinate and kidnap jurist collaborators and Roman soldiers. The modern concept of terrorism emerged from French Revolution 1789 it was known as Reign of terror in France .In present scenario  it has been highlighted by various agencies nations Iran ,Iraq ,Sudan etc. are known to have supported terrorist organisation. Many of these terrorist group seek to inflict harm in many different forms both Physically and digitally and as there is advancement in technology the danger of cyber terrorism is rapidly increasing .The first characterized act of Cyber Terrorism identified by the intelligence authority was in 1998 by the LTTE when almost 200 emails a day were send to various embassies in Sri Lanka .In 2002 an investigation by the Japanese Government discovered that a terrorist organisation called shinrokyo has been using dedicated software to launch DEDOS against the Japanese government.


There are often a large amount of confusion as to what cyber Terrorism is and more specifically it is an act of terrorism with the help of electronic means of communication i.e. the internet and modern means of communication .The internet allow a vast exchange of information .Thus, it has created a cyberspace in which both criminal terrorist can implement attacks with communication platform. There is also a concept of hack which is an application of hacking technique use of Information Technology targets to cause damage or disturb normal operations. Cyber terrorism is pleasing option for terrorist as it is cheaper, more unnamed, action is difficult to track and physical presence is not required.

Methods of Attacks

The most popular weapon in cyber Terrorism is the use of computer viruses and worms .That is why it’s is also known computer terrorism[1].

Classified into three categories:

  • Physical Attack -The computer architecture is damaged by using prevalent methods like bombs, fire etc.
  • Syntactic Attack – The computer architecture is damaged by modifying the logic of the system in order to introduce delay or make the system which can’t be determined.
  • Semantic Attack – During the attack the information keyed in the system during entering and exiting the system is modified without the user’s knowledge and causes error.

Device of Cyber Terrorism

  1. Hacking – The most popular method used by a terrorist .It is a generic term used for any kind of unauthorised access to a computer network of computers.
  2. Trojans programmes which pretend to do one thing while actually they are meant for doing something different, like a wooden Trojan horse of the 12 century BC.
  3. Computer viruses It is a computer programme, which infects other computer programmes by modifying them .They spread very fast.
  4. Denial of service– these attacks are aimed at denying authorised persons access to a computer or computer networks.

Forms of Cyber Terrorism

1. Privacy violation

Individual privacy is violated with various cyber-attacks in the world like various hackers try to hack various social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter etc. as private information is leaked to the world and disputes it’s privacy .

2. Secret information appropriate and data theft

The information technology can be misused for appropriating the valuable Government secrets and data of private individuals and the Government and its agencies .A computer network owned by the government contains valuable information concerning defence and other top secret.

Example- Access or services to such computer, computer system or computer network.

3.Distributed denial services of attack

The cyber terrorist may also use the method of distributed denial of services (DDOS) to overburden the Government and its agencies electronic bases .This is made possible by first inflecting crucial unprotected computer by way of virus attacks and taking control on them .Once the control is obtained than can manipulated from anywhere.


“Whoever commits or conspires to commit cyber terrorism shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to imprisonment for life” followed by Section 55 of Indian Penal Code and also under Section 66 F Information Technology Act.

Case study

In Mumbai Attack 26/11[2]

Ten Pakistani men related to the phobia cluster terrorist group stormed buildings in Bombay, killing 164 individuals and 9 of the gunmen were killed.

Throughout the attacks, one survived. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone living gunman, was dead in November 2012.They travelled from Karachi, West Pakistan to Bombay via boat. On the way, they hijacked a fishing trawler and killed four crew members, throwing their bodies overboard. They conjointly slit the captain’s throat. The terrorists docked at the Bombay city district close to the entryway of the Republic of India monument. They hijacked cars, together with a police wagon, and split into a minimum of three teams to hold out the attacks, in step with police. The attackers used automatic weapons and grenades.

Further, in another leading case, in December, 2010 the website of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was hacked by the programmes identifying themselves as “Pakistani cyber army”

Existing Cyber Security Initiative[3]

National Information Centre (NIC): It’s an organization providing network backbone and e-governance support to the Central Govt., State Govt., Indian territories, districts and Govt. bodies.

Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN): It is the most important organization in India’s cyber community initiative groups. Its mandate states that to ensure security of cyberspace in a country by enhancing the security

Communication and information infrastructure.

National Information Security Assurance Program (NISAP): This is for Govt. and critical infrastructures. This Govt. organization used security policy and created a point of contact for the Govt. and critical infrastructure. This is a Governmental organization created by CERT-IN.

Information Technology Act

The salient provisions of the IT Act in relevancy preventing cyber act of terrorism are:

Section 66F of the IT Act defines cyber act of terrorism. This Section has been introduced by means of modification to the Act within the year 2008. This modification was the result of the notorious 26/11 terror attack in Asian country. The terrorists, during this case, created use of the communication services to assist the terrorists UN agency dispensed a series of twelve shooting attacks throughout the town of metropolis. This tragedy could be a classic example

Of act of terrorism mistreatment the cyber network.

This Section conjointly prescribes the social control for people who commit or conspire to commit cyber act of terrorism. Consistent with the Section, such folks shall be punishable with imprisonment which can reach imprisonment for keep.


In war it is not necessary that one uses weapons like Ak47 or combat vehicles, sometimes weapons could be weightless and invisible like viruses or Trojans instead of fighter jets or missiles. Cyber terrorism is not just an attack or movement against one government it’s a War where we don’t follow traditional tactics to fight them. We need long term advanced Strategies to fight them with iron clad firewalls. An unified approach with political, judicial and administrative cooperation is a vital requirement to fight this new form of terrorism.

[1] Pauline c. Reich (2012) cyberterrorism ,Information Welfare  ,and Internet Immobilization (pp.377-408)

[2] -prepared -is -india -for –cyber-warfare/articleshow/19152928.cms

[3] Dr.Shrish kumar Tiwari.Cybercrimes a Threat to humanity ,Vol 2(1),December 2014,pg

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