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Trends in Cyber-Terrorism 2021

Cyberspace has become one of the main arenas for state warfare. It is also largely used by non-state actors or state sponsored actors, including criminal networks and terrorist organisations. In recent years, their operations in cyberspace have become a real challenge for global security.

Throughout 2021 terrorist actors continued to operate in cyberspace in three main arenas–operational, defence, and offence. The operational arena serves as the main arena use by terrorist organisations in cyberspace including the use of communication platforms, propaganda, recruitment, training, intelligence gathering, information sharing, and financing. The defensive arena is designed to protect the anonymity of users and information security and to offer followers tips and warnings on cyber security. The offensive arena includes cyber-attacks, doxing, hacking, tutorials, and hacking discourse.

The main actors presented in the following report are: Global Jihadist organisations; Pro-Iranian hacker groups; Palestinian hackers and pro-Palestinian hacktivists; and Far-Right extremist actors.