Session 2: Terrorism and Irregular Combatants (10:50-12:30)

As zone of conflict, cyberspace represents a low-cost, highly profitable environment, where perpetrators are less likely to be held responsible for their actions. Irregular combatants, such as transnational criminal networks and terrorist organizations have seized upon this opportunity to develop new methods of recruitment, logistics and attack. However, definitions of threats, actors and objectives are complex. In this session we will set out to uncover the latest trends in irregular cyberwar and cyberterrorism. We ask what technological capacities can criminal and terrorist organizations draw upon? What strategies do security services have to prepare against these threats?


Major Colonel Lin Han, 林涵 少校

Assistant Researcher at the Department of Military Political Work of the Academy of Military Sciences (AMS), PLA

The Challenges and Strategic Options of National Cyber Security

Nowadays the information technology, represented by the Internet, has been experiencing rapid changes, which has exerted great influence on human society. Cyberspace becomes a new important social space following spaces of land, ocean, sky and aerospace. However, cyber security has stood out as an issue at the same time. Today, it and has become one of the most severe and complex global security dilemmas. Cyber security must be understood as a national security matter, as only a safe, steady, and booming cyberspace can and will bring benefits to the whole world. Following this logic, China has designed some policies and adopted some practices in order to guarantee a safe cyberspace. For example, it enhanced the defensive ability of cyberspace, built national response systems for emergency, and fostered professional cyber talents. What can be the strategic options to keep national cyber security across the world? The options can be the following: to obey the core principles of “cyber sovereignty”, to forward the making of rules and regulations in cyberspace, to combine cyber public diplomacy with cyber government diplomacy, as well as to promote the integration of cyber security cooperation mechanisms.

Dr. Michael Barak

Senior Researcher at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism; Lecturer at Lauder School of Government Diplomacy and Strategy, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya

Al-Qaeda and ISIS – Case Studies in What is and What Should Be Done

Terrorist organizations capitalize on cyberspace to serve their aims. “Electronic Jihad” is the Religious justification for its use by the likes of ISIS, Al-Qaeda and other salafi-jihadi terror organizations. As a result, these groups are investing ever more time and effort in sharpening their cyber abilities and knowledge as a weapon against their enemies.

This lecture aims to present a window into Al Qaeda’s & ISIS’s current use of cyberspace, their cyber capabilities and the potential threats. It will go on to address what is needed in order to counter cyberterrorism.