Researchers Claim Correlation Between Terror Attacks, Cyber-Activity
NEWS ANALYSIS: An Israeli security research company Cytegic claims there are predictable cycles of cyber-attacks just before and after major terrorist atrocity, such as the March 22 bombings in Brussels.The links between cyber-warfare and terrorism are well-established. Terrorist organizations such as ISIS have been attacking targets they perceive as unfriendly nearly since their inception. Now, researchers at Cytegic report that they have discovered a link between terrorist attacks, such as the deadly attacks on the Brussels airport and metro system on March 22, and cyber-terror activities immediately before and after those attacks. According to the activity graphs in its March 23 report on the link between the terrorist attacks in Paris last November and the related cyber-terrorist activity, cyber-attacks increase dramatically shortly after the attacks took place. Those attacks were aimed in large part against government and media activities on the Internet, and took the form of denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, defacements, phishing attacks including email social engineering and malware injection. Financial service organizations and critical infrastructure were also high on the target list, but not as high as the first two.
Perhaps most surprising of all, there appears to be a reduction in activity immediately preceding the terrorist attacks in both Paris and Brussels. This “quiet period” isn’t a cessation of all cyber-terrorist activity, but rather a reduction in intensity. Some attackers seem to continue at their normal level, while others, who are identified by Cytegic as being cyber-terrorists, show a significant decrease until the attacks take place.