The number of publicized terrorist attacks started to escalate beginning in the mid-1990s. From the attacks that received wide coverage by the world press, we have arrived to the point where not a single day passes without a terrorist committing such acts. It is the spectacular that is getting first-page coverage by the mass media. The basic mechanics of these attacks is usually through the use of explosives detonated remotely or by a suicidal person intent on taking others with them into the next life.
An obvious question must be asked: Is it easy or difficult to plan and execute such attacks? In 2006, Bruce Schneier set up an unusual competition. The goal of this competition was to write a scenario for a terrorist attack against a major component of the United States’ critical infrastructure. After an analysis of the possible plots that were submitted, he came to the conclusion that it is not as easy a task as many might think. The fact is that no major terrorists’ attacks have happened on U.S. soil since 9/11, despite the fact that there are myriads of groups around the world with this one major objective. Their failure to inflict another attack may be related to the extensive security measures introduced after the 9/11 events.
As a result, a follow-up question may be formulated: Could the consequential damages (i.e., political, economic, and cultural) of 9/11 be created using information technology? Several studies indicate that in the early 1990s, the American society was not well prepared against electronic attacks. As a result, major information system users such as government agencies, military installations, major banks, and so forth began to prepare for the handing of such electronic attacks.