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Cyber-terrorism is the leveraging of a target’s computers and information technology, particularly via the Internet, to cause physical, real-world harm or severe disruption.

As the Internet becomes more pervasive in all areas of human endeavor, individuals or groups can use the anonymity afforded by cyberspace to threaten citizens, specific groups (i.e. members of an ethnic group or belief), communities and entire countries, without the inherent threat of capture, injury, or death to the attacker that being physically present would bring.

As the Internet continues to expand, and computer systems continue to be assigned more responsibility while becoming more and more complex and interdependent, sabotage or terrorism via cyberspace may become a more serious threat.

The basic definition of Cyber-terrorism subsumed over time to encompass such things as simply defacing a web site or server, or attacking non-critical systems, resulting in the term becoming less useful. There is also a train of thought that says cyberterrorism does not exist and is really a matter of hacking or information warfare. Some disagree with labeling it terrorism proper because of the unlikelihood of the creation of fear of significant physical harm or death in a population using electronic means, considering current attack and protective technologies.

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