The U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives. A terrorist incident could involve a wide variety of materials or actions, or combinations of materials and actions. These could range from uncomplicated incidents impacting relatively small areas, to highly complex incidents with very widespread physical or economic consequence.
The FBI defines cyberterrorism as any “premeditated, politically motivated attack against computer systems, computer programs, and data which results in violence against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine [hidden, illegal] agents.". A “cyberterrorist attack” could result in extensive disruption to computer networks, telecommunication systems or Internet services, and be intended to cause severe or widespread economic damage and/or physical impacts in the community.
Realizing the important role that the American public plays in ensuring the safety and security of our nation, in July 2010, the Department of Homeland Security launched the “If You See Something, Say Something ™" public awareness campaign. The nationwide campaign is a simple is focused on raising the awareness of terrorism indicators or violent crime amongst the public and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper state and local law enforcement authorities. Effective because of its simplicity, “If You See Something, Say Something” is a grassroots approach to combating terrorism and works as a force multiplier by increasing the level of vigilance on the streets. As we go forward, the "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign will continue to expand partnerships, increase the availability of educational materials and outreach tools designed to help America's businesses, communities and citizens remain vigilant and play an active role in keeping the country safe. Homeland Security is a shared responsibility by us all and it is up to each of one of us to see ensure that responsibility is met.
If You See Something, Say Something
Cyberterrorism & Security Risks
Cyber security involves protecting that infrastructure by preventing, detecting, and responding to cyber incidents. Unlike physical threats that prompt immediate action, like stop, drop, and roll in the event of a fire, cyber threats are often difficult to identify and comprehend.
Among these dangers are viruses erasing entire systems, intruders breaking into systems and altering files, intruders using your computer or device to attack others, or intruders stealing confidential information.
The spectrum of cyber risks is limitless; threats, some more serious and sophisticated than others, can have wide-ranging effects on the individual, community, organizational, and national level.
According to ready.gov, here are some suggested tips to protect yourself and your family during a possible cyberterrorism event:
According to ready.gov, here are some recommended actions you can take to protect yourself and your family after a possible cyberterrorism event:
- File a report with the local police so there is an official record of the incident.
- Report online crime or fraud to your local United States Secret Service (USSS) Electronic Crimes Task Force or the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
- Report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission.
- If your personal information was compromised, consider other information that may be at risk. Depending what information was stolen, you may need to contact other agencies; for example, if someone has gained access to your Social Security number, contact the Social Security Administration. You should also contact the Department of Motor Vehicles if your driver's license or car registration has been stolen.
Devastating acts such as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have left many concerned about the possibility of future incidents in the United States and their potential impact. These attacks have raised uncertainty about what might happen next. Terrorism may involve devastating acts using weapons of mass destruction ranging from chemical agents, biological hazards, a radiological or nuclear device, and other explosives.
The primary objective of a terrorist is to create widespread fear. Nevertheless, there are things you can do to prepare for the unexpected and reduce the stress that you may feel now and later, should another emergency arise.
Terrorism incidents are typically categorized in the following ways:
According to redcross.org, if a terrorism-related event occurs:
Evacuation During a Terror Attack
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and sturdy shoes so you can be protected as much as possible.
- Take your disaster supplies kit.
- Take your pets with you; do not leave them behind.
- Lock your home.
- Use travel routes specified by local authorities—don't use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable or dangerous.
- Stay away from downed power lines.