If you are like many people hoping to get a strong background in criminal justice, then you probably understand that homeland security is the newest field in this discipline, and it also may end up being the field that is most important to most Americans. The truth of the matter is that domestic crime, drug crime, and even violent crime on a small scale is important to track and prevent, but terrorism is another matter all together. We all understand what kind of damage terrorists can do when they are actually successful, and no one in the United States actually wants to see this happen again. One thing that homeland security professionals have been aware of for some time, however, is that cyber terrorism may be the new face of terror.
First, let's describe what we mean when we talk about cyber terrorism. What we are talking about is a kind of terrorism that is unlike what most people think of when they think of terrorism. When most people think of terrorism, what goes through their mind is the idea of mass attacks that are physically violent. When you think of how terrorism is supposed to work, however, and what its goals normally are, you probably can tell that it does not have to be violent in the conventional sense. All it has to do is generate fear and stop society from operating for even a relatively short period of time. A cyber attack most certainly can do this.
When people think of cyber terrorism, what most often goes through their mind is this idea of a mass hacking operation in which computer systems are compromised, information is stolen, and processes are hijacked. This is not the stuff of science fiction. This actually does happen, it can happen, and it will happen if homeland security professionals do not stand up to meet the challenge. If you are serious about protecting your nation so that the people of American can live without fear, then you need to concern yourself with terror attacks that are of a cyber nature.
There are a number of ways to battle cyber terrorism. One of the most common and classic ways to battle this kind of terrorism is to locate and follow suspects, much in the same way that agents might find and follow traditional terror suspects. If you think about it, you can see that even when agents do not know who is committing the terrorist activities that are cyber attacks, they still can figure out where the attacks are occurring and how they are managing to affect the lives of populations. For example, they can know which security vulnerabilities to watch and which computers with which search histories to track.
When you study cyber terrorism, you might learn about the many ways to prevent this kind of attack. You also might learn about the new developments in both sides of the battle. That is to say when you learn about cyber attacks, you have to understand both how the attackers think and also how the government agents there to protect us think.