The Next Terrorist Threat May Be Online

These days, technology is advancing at a fast pace. This is looked at as a good thing that will improve people’s lives, but, as with all good things, there are bad things to accompany it. One downside is cybercrime.

Cybercrime comes in many forms from big issues such as identity theft to smaller nuisances like remotely turning off somebody’s computer or Xbox.

Last year, Sony was in a lot of hot water over a massive security breach on their PlayStation 3 online service. Players on the network were greeted one day with an email from Sony instructing them to change their passwords because a hacker hacked into the servers and gained access to 77 million players’ personal information including names, emails, passwords, and, in some cases, credit card numbers.

The company faced a law suit with charges of not being able to protect their users from such a situation and for waiting too long to inform users of the breach.

“Consumers and merchants have been exposed to what is one of the largest compromises of internet security and the greatest potential for credit-card fraud to ever occur in U.S. history,” according to the complaint, filed by a California firm on behalf of a long-time PlayStation owner.

Sony immediately shut down the network on April 19 when they learned of the breach but waited until April 26 to inform the public.

That is just one example of cybercrime, specifically involving online information. Companies today that offer online services are being trusted with more and more personal information.  Consumers are apparently confident that they can protect it, which is becoming increasingly difficult.

A larger from of cybercrime does not target individuals, it targets corporations, organizations., and even the government.  The government is constantly developing and re-working plans to deal with cyber-threats should they arise.

Recently, the government has started cracking down on the infamous hacker group known as Anonymous. The group is known for things like shutting down corporation’s websites.

No matter how hard companies and security services try, the hackers always seem to advance past the new security technology. There has recently been speculation that cybercrime will evolve into cyber terrorism and that it will eclipse the terrorism that we know today.

Like hackers, terrorists are evolving their methods. Some believe that with current technology and the right know how, terrorist organizations could possibly, with enough time and effort, cause the collapse of something as huge as the banking system or online power grids.

In 2010, the Pentagon officially recognized cyberspace as an effective area for attack and has devised a strategy for defense. Now, military networks are better defended and the U.S. Cyber Command is fully operational. The nation is also working with private security firms to help defend critical infrastructure.

Over 30 countries are adding cyber units to their military. The way and amount we use technology in the Unites States makes it a prime target for attack.

The advance of technology requires the advance in defense technology but the people need to protect themselves as well. Watch where you put your personal information and, most importantly, use unique passwords. Something as simple as that can protect you in great ways. Think about it; if you have the same password for everything all hackers need to do is find the one that is easiest to get, and from then on it’s easy.

Cybercrime can and will take off if defense isn’t improved now before hackers and terrorists can take advantage of the opportunity.