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Colleges and Universities as Staging Grounds for Cyber Terrorist Attacks

NCJ Number
Campus Law Enforcement Journal Volume: 32 Issue: 2 Dated: March/April 2002 Pages: 28-31
Mark Henych M.S.; Bob R. Cherry J.D.; Charlie Mesloh M.P.A
Date Published
4 pages
This article discusses how both colleges and universities offer ideal staging ground to launch or facilitate a cyber terrorist attack.
Domestic and international colleges and universities have been identified as perfect locations to launch or facilitate a terrorist attack on the United States critical infrastructure with its network architecture and infrastructure. There is evidence to suggest that colleges and universities offer cover to potential terrorists. Colleges and universities possess anonymity within its environment, as well as unlimited computer access instituting a set of factors for exploitation. Network attacks or cyber warfare can come from the Internet and personal computers. In order to launch a cyber attack, the terrorist would need a computer and access to the Internet. Due to university T1 connections, detection becomes extremely difficult. In addition, with the numbers of users generated at higher education facilities, destructive transmissions can go unnoticed. Hampering detection and prevention are limited campus resources such as training and manpower, conflicting ownership issues, and T1 connections. There is a need for policy or legislation development to assist campus law enforcement to initiate investigations and hold individuals accountable and a need to create partnerships between campus law enforcement and other law enforcement agencies and organizations.