The magnitude of the risk presented by cyberterrorism

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responses matter. The magnitude of the risk presented by cyberterrorism or cyberwarfare may be such that we cannot afford to absorb a certain level of risk: it is not acceptable to absorb the risk of a first attack and allow networks to evolve in response. It is in this sense that one cyber- Pearl Harbor or 9/11 is said to be unacceptable. 4 It is also worth noting that the motivations of cyberterrorism are different from those of ordinary cybercrime. This difference in motivation may indicate the need for a different response, as ordinary law enforcement techniques may not be able to deter a perpetrator motivated by political or religious zeal. b. Analytical Framework As we attempt to describe some of the parameters of cyberterrorism, it is useful to establish an analytical framework for discussion. There are two main categories: (i) the value, vulnerability, and protection available with respect to the target (“risk variables”), and (ii) control over the target and control over the potential attacker (“control variables”). Control variables will determine the response to risk variables, and can be used to reduce or increase the aggregate risk. The risk variable profile will affect the importance of control variables. So, the first analytical question is how big is the existing risk, to whom does it accrue, and how can it be modified? The second analytical question is who controls the target and the attacker, and do they have appropriate incentives and capability to respond to—to modify—the risk profile presented by the risk variables? The controlling person could be a private person, one or more governments, and/or an international organization. The choices of private persons may be constrained through legal rules, while the choices of governments may be constrained through international law. Theory would suggest that states should seek an optimal level of congruence, which will be less than full congruence, between control and risk. This is no different from saying that in domestic property rights analysis we seek to achieve an optimal level of internalization of externalities. c. Factors Relating to the Value, Vulnerability and Protection of the Target Thus, our first analytical question regards the risk-adjusted value of a particular target, and the degree to which the risk may be reduced through a variety of protective actions. 4 Richard Clarke, Keynote Address: Threats to U.S. National Security: Proposed Partnership Initiatives Toward Preventing Cyber Terrorist Attacks , 12 D E P AUL B US . L.J. 33, 35 (1999).
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Global Cyberterrorism, Jurisdiction, and International Organization 5 i. Type of Network and Value as a Target There is no such thing as a completely secure network. As noted above, advanced societies have come to depend more and more on electronic communications and information processing networks in order to communicate, coordinate production, and transmit all manner of information. Advanced societies are thus more vulnerable to cyberterrorism than less industrialized societies. This is one way in which cyberterrorism
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