The cyberthreat posed by terror groups today looks less like war than hacktivism—the use of online subversion or sabotage, often by loosely networked actors, to boost a political agenda. Within these opportunistic webs of affiliation, whether a hacker has an operational link to a terrorist organization is largely irrelevant. Any sympathizer can use digital tools to deface websites for propaganda value, encourage acts of violence, or cause economic disruption. In response, firms and governments can do more to improve defenses, educate users, and monitor hacktivist capabilities.

Confronting Terror-affiliated Hacktivists by The Wilson Center