Version française


Computer terrorism:
What are the risks ?

Patrick Galley

May 30, 1996
English translation July 1, 1998 by Arif M. Janmohamed

Project : Science, Technology and Society
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)

Warning. This document reflects only the opinions of its author, it does not engage the EPFL.


Our society relies more and more upon computers. No matter where you are or what you do, you are likely to deal, either directly or indirectly with computer. When you pay with your credit card, book a seat on an aircraft, deposit money in your bank account and even when you simply make a phone call, it is a computer which, finally, deals with you.

From time to time, the press reveals to the public that computer hackers broke into such or such system, stole hundreds of credit cards numbers and can now consult and modify the contents of your bank account or visit the computers of the army. It has also taught us that computer viruses jump from computer to computer waiting for the opportune moment to destroy the contents of our hard disks.

What would happen, if an organization or a government united these isoleteds hacker's skills to take a large scale action against a State?


Computer criminality
Vulnerability of the systems
Information Warfare
Computer terrorism


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