Cyber security countermeasures to combat cyber terrorism

Lachlan MacKinnon*, Liz Bacon, Diane Gan, Georgios Loukas, David Chadwick, Dimitrios Frangiskatos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Citations (Scopus)


In this chapter we first consider what constitutes cyber terrorism, to distinguish such events from other forms of cybercrime, and to establish a rationale for that distinction. We discuss some of the characteristics of cyber terrorist events in comparison with cybercriminal events, and the changes that have occurred, socially and technologically, that make such events both more likely and more damaging. We then go on to consider three key aspects of cyber terrorist attacks, cyber attacks on physical systems, malware specifically developed for such attacks, and insider threats to enable or support such attacks. Next, we look at the countermeasures that can be adopted by organizations and individuals to address such threats, highlighting the significant human component of such systems through the need for standards-based policies and protocols, good security hygiene, and the training of system users at all levels. We also consider some issues of physical systems upgrade, and some software measures that can be used to identify and isolate cyber threats. Finally, we consider the future in terms of the likely further growth of cyber terrorist events, and the threat they pose to critical infrastructure and the systems on which, socially and technologically, we increasingly rely.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStrategic intelligence management
Subtitle of host publicationnational security imperatives and information and communications technologies
EditorsBabak Akhgar, Simeon Yates
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9780124071919
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Access
  • Attacks
  • Computer
  • Control
  • Critical
  • Cyber attack
  • Cyber security
  • Cyber terrorism
  • Financial
  • Government
  • Industrial
  • Information
  • Insider
  • International
  • Internet
  • Management
  • Mechanisms
  • Military
  • Network
  • Nuclear
  • Security
  • Software
  • Stuxnet
  • System
  • Terrorist
  • Threats


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