Cyber Terrorism Project

Lately we have witnessed a wave of cyber terror attacks against Israel. Those attacks among other things included the exposure of personal data of individuals and severe damage of different websites. The former head of the ISA, Yuval Diskin said in an interview that cyber terror is a terror that should be dealt (Mohr, 2012). There is also real danger to essential infrastructure (such as water, electricity, medicine, communication, transportation, airports, courts etc.) and security infrastructure (such as military industry and security agencies) as long as they are computerized (Siboni, 2011; Tabensky 2011). For example, it was reported that in Brazil the power supply was disrupted due to hacker attack and that the works in the Iranian reactor were delayed by the warm-virus "stuxnet" (Grimland, 2010). "Flame" which was implanted in the Iranian reactor computers should be also mentioned in this respect (Idan, 2012).

The cyber terror phenomena, in which every cracker (bad hacker) can declare cybernetic war on any state or on any target, shows the power that individual has these days. If till now the international law knew how to handle war between states, the cybernetic terror changed the path. Today states find themselves dealing with terror of individuals sometimes even from friendly states.

The importance for legal answer to cyber-crimes we can see in the Introduction to the bill of computer crimes in 1994. However can cyber terror be restrained by the legal system, is there a legal answer to it? The current research will answer these questions and others. The research goal is to formulate legal-technological policy to dealing with cyber terror.  

The difficult stage is to define "terror". It is almost impossible to agree on the definition both on the national level and on the international level (Gross, 2004). In Israel there are several laws defining "terror organization" and "terror act" such as Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance, 1948 and Prohibition on Terrorist Financing Act. Other laws can be found in states such as U.S and Britain. The current research first goal is to define cyber terror after a comprehensive theoretical research. The research will also examine by theoretical research the current professional literature regarding the legal ways to deal with cyber terror and if there is a need for the legal system to interfere in the field or is it enough to deal with it on the technological level.   

The research, led by Prof. Emanuel Gross and in cooperation with the Law and Technology Clinic will mostly be based on theoretical and systematic research of professional legal literature. The research can contribute to the formulation of a comprehensive legal policy for cyber terror. Such a research was not conducted yet. Our goal is that our findings will be implemented in Israel legal system and will try to give a proper response to cyber terror.

​Research Team:

Prof. Emanuel Gross​
Adv. Dalit Ken-Dror​
Adv. Lior Frank​

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