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According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, “The CSIS has defined it (cyber terror) as the use of computer network tools to shutdown critical national infrastructures or to coerce or intimidate a government or civilian population” (Tafoya, 2011). Cyber terrorism is on the rise and costs the government and large corporations millions and millions of dollars in both manpower and technology. The United States has seen both their military programs be hacked along with the most trusted systems of our defense contractors. The risk of another large scale cyber-attack is imminent and there’s only a question of when, where and how much sensitive information will be compromised. The ways of carrying out these terrorist attacks are just as diverse as the reasoning behind carrying them out. Who are these people behind this new age form of terrorism and what are their motivations for causing such technological destruction? This research will delve further into this question by exploring the personality types of known hackers and virus writers. Are their certain characteristics that are commonly displayed by these criminals? Is there a criminal profile that can be looked at in seeking out these criminals for prosecution? It is essential for our nation’s economy and security that the United States’ government keeps ahead of these criminals and their ever-evolving tactics. It is also increasingly more and more important to learn about these cyber terrorists and to learn from our past security breaches. References Tafoya, William L. Cyber Terror. November 2011. (accessed March 13, 2014).

Publication Date


Subject Major(s)

Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Current Academic Year


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Jason Levy


Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

Is Part Of

VCU Undergraduate Research Posters


© The Author(s)

Common Motivations and Personality Types of Cyber Terrorists