Cyber-terrorism in Fiction

In today’s world, we love our computers and Internet, and at the same time, are slightly paranoid. As writers that’s the stuff we love; it has all the makings of a good and juicy plot. Here’s one example of an author who made a success of it.

 Reality:

Cyber-terrorismcan have a serious large-scale influence on significant numbers of people. It can weaken countries’ economy greatly, thereby stripping it of its resources and making it more vulnerable to military attack.Cyber-terror can also affect Internet-based businesses. They cannot afford to lose money in the event of downtime created by cyber criminals. As Internet-businesses have increasing economic importance to countries, what is normally cybercrime becomes more political and therefore “terror” related.

Bureaucracy has created the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). This is a bipartisan organization of legislators and their staff created to help policymakers of all 50 states address issues such as those affecting the economy or homeland security by providing them with a forum for exchanging ideas, sharing research and obtaining technical assistance. This is how they define Cyber-terrorism:

The use of information technology by terrorist groups and individuals to further their agenda. This can include use of information technology to organize and execute attacks against networks, computer systems and telecommunications infrastructures, or for exchanging information or making threats electronically. Examples are hacking into computer systems, introducing viruses to vulnerable networks, web site defacing, denial-of-service attacks, or terroristic threats made via electronic communication.[2]

 

Fiction

 

The book title: Daemon

Author: Leinad Zeraus (aka database consultant Daniel Suarez)

Genre: Thriller

 

Originally self-published, “the story of a terminally ill game designer who unleashes a diabolical, self-replicating Web entity that enlists disaffected Netizens in its mission to destroy civilization,” has been sold to Ben Sevier at Dutton, in a major deal. A separate film deal will be announced shortly.

The story is about:

Matthew Sobol was a legendary computer game designer – the architect behind half dozen popular online games. His premature death from brain cancer depressed both gamers and his company’s stock price. But Sobol’s fans weren’t the only ones to note his passing. He left behind something that was scanning Internet obituaries, too – something that put in motion a whole series of programs upon his death. Programs that moved money. Programs that recruited people. Programs that killed.

Confronted with a killer from beyond the grave, Detective Peter Sebeck comes face-to-face with the full implications of our increasingly complex and interconnected world– one where the dead can read headlines, steal identities, and carry out far-reaching plans without fear of retribution. Sebeck must find away to stop Sobol’s web of programs – his Daemon – before it achieves its ultimate purpose. And to do so, he must uncover what that purpose is . . .

It all begins when one man’s obituary appears online. . .

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