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Information Technology for Counterterrorism: Immediate Actions and Future Possibilities
attacks and lessen the effectiveness of emergency responses; reducing such vulnerabilities will require major advances in information and network security. IT attacks on supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems in the control infrastructure could also be highly damaging, and research to improve the security of such systems will be needed. Second, the increasing levels of social and economic damage caused by cybercrime and the tendency to rely on the Internet as the primary networking and communications channel both suggest that the likelihood of severe damage through a cyberattack is increasing. Finally, the evolution of the Internet and the systems connected to it demonstrates increasing homogeneity in hardware and software (Box 3.1), which makes the Internet more vulnerable at the same time that it becomes more critical. To address these problems, more researchers and trained professionals who are focused on information and network security will be needed.
2. Systems for emergency response. “C3I” (command, control, communications, and intelligence) systems are critical to emergency responders for coordinating efforts and increasing the promptness and effectiveness of response (e.g., saving lives, treating the injured, and protecting property). While terrorist attacks and natural disasters have many similarities with respect to the consequences of such events, the issues raised by C3I for emergency response for terrorist disasters differ from those for natural disasters for several reasons. First, the number of responding agencies, including those from the local, regional, state, and federal levels—with possibly conflicting and overlapping areas of responsibility—increases the level of complexity. (For example, in a terrorist attack scenario, the Department of Defense [DOD] might be much more involved than it would be in a natural disaster.) Second, ongoing security and law-enforcement concerns are much stronger in the wake of a terrorist attack. While looting is often a threat to the community affected by a natural disaster (and may result in the deployment of a police presence in the midst of the recovery effort), the threat from a follow-on terrorist attack may well be much greater or more technologically sophisticated than that posed by looters. And, to the extent that an additional security or law-enforcement presence is required, the sometimes-conflicting needs of security and law-enforcement agencies with the needs of others—for ex
Trust in Cyberspace); Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council, 2001, Embedded, Everywhere: A Research Agenda for Networked Systems of Embedded Computers, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. (hereafter cited as CSTB, NRC, 2001, Embedded, Everywhere).