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Comment what I would look for if I were a terrorist... (Score 2) 256

Hmmph. Article was full of crap -- it was trying to draw on 'big fears' and tie a couple together (cyberattacks + weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists! lions&tigers&bears! oh-my!). More importantly, a terrorist is not likely to use weapons of mass destruction because they are such a pain in the ass to deal with (conventional bombs are cheaper -- both in terms of money and opportunity costs). A terrorist organization blows a lot of money and time on THE-ONE-BIG-SHOT, and then fucks it up somehow, then they've taken themselves out of the game. Large-scale cyber-attacks [say, i don't know, trying to crash a train track switching network with a virus, or something), even more than WMD, requires you to raise your signature to find out a lot of information before you've even done anything [i.e. is a big pain in the ass to try and put together and has a potential for failure that is intimidating]. The weaknesss in the approach is that it relies to heavily on *one* method of attack. However, a small scale cyber attack -- when coupled with a small scale physical attack like a conventional explosion -- could be a very effective force-multiplier. For instance, a really large conventional explosion at [or even near] a nuclear power plant, when coupled with a massive spamming (by phone and e-mail) of news organizations, radio stations, 911, with a follow-on crashing/bombing of the local phone network switching centers (and maybe jam some police and emergency vehicle radio communications while we're at it?) right at the point where a lot of rumour has spread but no truth has been reported, has the potential to create an *incredible* panic at very little cost or risk. You have to think of cyber-attacks as things that do not stand in-themselves; once they are coupled with physical methods of attack, they can be extremely powerful. But you combine the attack, AND keep both the physical and cyber attack *simple*. At least, that's what I would look for if I were a terrorist. [disclaimer: be advised, I am not advocating any activity that I've talked about in my post. I am merely using notional examples to make some points about terrorism.]

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I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.