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Tim Stevens

Given the much-vaunted ‘democratization’ of information communications technologies (ICT) and the ubiquity of potential targets, we have not, as yet, seen a single verifiable case of cyberterrorism, even against countries and populations considered the richest targets. Why? This chapter addresses this question through the lens of the strategy of terrorism. Much existing literature either promotes the probability of cyberterrorism, or denies its possibility. This has generated useful insights but, in the absence of evidence, a different approach may be necessary, one that is less hampered by a sample size of zero and is less likely to be invalidated should the empirical record suddenly change. Cyberterrorism can be analysed using the same conceptual tools as for other modes of terrorism and we can determine why terrorists would select cyberterrorism to attain their political goals and why they might choose not to. The intention is not to assess the quantitative likelihood of a cyberterrorist event but to identify how ends, ways and means articulate within a possible strategy of cyberterrorism.