Research Note: More Bucks, Still No Bangs? Why a Cost-Benefit Analysis of Cyberterrorism Still Holds True

Taking as reference a cost-benefit analysis of cyberterrorism published in 2004 by Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, this article briefly reviews what happened in the last 15 years in cyberterrorism research, what was correctly forecast, what was wrong and what may happen in the future. Some of the analyses published in during this period have been accurate, indicating that terrorists would use the Web and then social media for supporting operations in financing, recruiting and, especially “propaganda” (information operations), instead of wasting resources in ineffectual cyberattacks against critical infrastructures. The same analyses, however, did not appreciate enough how successful information operations by terrorist groups would have been. Overall, the approach, research methods, findings and forecasting have been quite valid and fruitful and thus they can represent a solid foundation on which scholars of (cyber)terrorism may base their future research.

Tags: cost-benefit analysis, Cyberterrorism, financing, Propaganda, Recruitment, research, review, Social Media