Cyber-Apocalypse Now

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Full Title of Reference

Cyber-Apocalypse Now - Securing the Internet Against Cyberterrorism and Using Universal Jurisdiction as a Deterrent

Full Citation

Kelly A. Gable, Cyber-Apocalypse Now - Securing the Internet Against Cyberterrorism and Using Universal Jurisdiction as a Deterrent, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 43, No. 1 (2010). SSRN



Issues: International Law (including Laws of War); Private Critical Infrastructure; Public Critical Infrastructure; Security Components of Classic Cyberissues (e.g. IP); Terrorists

Key Words

Cyber Terrorism, Laws of War, State Affiliation


Cyberterrorism has become one of the most significant threats to the national and international security of the modern state, and cyberattacks are occurring with increased frequency. The Internet not only makes it easier for terrorists to communicate, organize terrorist cells, share information, plan attacks, and recruit others but also is increasingly being used to commit cyberterrorist acts. It is clear that the international community may only ignore cyberterrorism at its peril.

The primary security threat posed by the Internet is caused by an inherent weakness in the TCP/IP Protocol, which is the technology underlying the structure of the Internet and other similar networks. This underlying structure enables cyberterrorists to hack into one system and use it as a springboard for jumping onto any other network that is also based on the TCP/IP Protocol. Other threats to national and international security include direct attacks on the Internet and the use of the Internet as a free source of hacking tools. These threats will not be eradicated easily.

In the absence of feasible prevention, deterrence of cyberterrorism may be the best alternative. Without, at a minimum, a concerted effort at deterrence, cyberterrorism will continue to threaten national and international security. The most feasible way to deter cyberterrorists is tuniversal jurisdiction.

Additional Notes and Highlights