Cyberterrorism is a new terrorist tactic that makes use of information systems or digital technology, especially the Internet, as either an instrument or a target. As the Internet becomes more a way of life with us,it is becoming easier for its users to become targets of the cyberterrorists. The number of areas in which cyberterrorists could strike is frightening, to say the least.

The difference between the conventional approaches of terrorism and new methods is primarily that it is possible to affect a large multitude of people with minimum resources on the terrorist's side, with no danger to him at all. We also glimpse into the reasons that caused terrorists to look towards the Web, and why the Internet is such an attractive alternative to them.

The growth of Information Technology has led to the development of this dangerous web of terror, for cyberterrorists could wreak maximum havoc within a small time span. Various situations that can be viewed as acts of cyberterrorism have also been covered. Banks are the most likely places to receive threats, but it cannot be said that any establishment is beyond attack. Tips by which we can protect ourselves from cyberterrorism have also been covered which can reduce problems created by the cyberterrorist.

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. with membership based on ethnicity 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.

Cyberterrorism is the leveraging of a target's computers and information , particularly via the Internet, to cause physical, real-world harm or severe disruption of infrastructure.

Cyberterrorism is defined as “The premeditated use of disruptive activities, or the threat thereof, against computers and/or networks, with the intention to cause harm or further social, ideological, religious, political or similar objectives. Or to intimidate any person in furtherance of such objectives.” This definition was created by Kevin G. Coleman of the Technolytics Institute.

...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 are some that say cyberterrorism does not exist and is really a matter of hacking or information warfare. They disagree with labeling it terrorism because of the unlikelihood of the creation of fear, significant physical harm, or death in a population using electronic means, considering current attack and protective technologies.

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a bipartisan organization of legislators and their staff created to help policymakers of all 50 states address vital issues such as those affecting the economy or homeland security by providing them with a forum for exchanging ideas, sharing research and obtaining technical assistance defines cyberterrorism as follows:

the use of information technology by terrorist groups and individuals to further their agenda. This can include use of information technology to organize and execute attacks against networks, computer systems and telecommunications infrastructures, or for exchanging information or making threats electronically. Examples are hacking into computer systems, introducing viruses to vulnerable networks, web site defacing, Denial-of-service attacks, or terroristic threats made via electronic communication.

Cyberterrorism can have a serious large-scale influence on significant numbers of people. It can weaken countries' economy greatly, thereby stripping it of its resources and making it more vulnerable to military attack.

Cyberterror can also affect internet-based businesses. Like brick and mortar retailers and service providers, most websites that produce income (whether by advertising, monetary exchange for goods or paid services) could stand to lose money in the event of downtime created by cyber criminals.

As internet-businesses have increasing economic importance to countries, what is normally cybercrime becomes more political and therefore "terror" related.

We, as the Information Technology people of tomorrow need to study and understand the weaknesses of existing systems, and figure out ways of ensuring the world's safety from cyberterrorists. A number of issues here are ethical, in the sense that computing technology is now available to the whole world, but if this gift is used wrongly, the
consequences could be disastrous. It is important that we understand and mitigate cyberterrorism for the benefit of society, try to curtail its growth, so that we can heal the present, and live the future…