The horrific Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks involved
weaponized airliners that were hijacked using brutal, low-tech tactics.
But the rapid advances in technology of the last 10 years may mean that
tomorrow's threats to planes and automobiles could come not from armed
terrorists, but from stealthy hackers.
The connection between terrorist organizations and cybercriminals
exists, say experts, not only in online underground marketplaces where
hacking tools are sold, but also in areas of recruitment and training.
Some unfriendly countries are working on so-called cyber warfare programs,
and there are also "al-Qaida cells that are acting as training centers
for hackers," said Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS
Institute, an information-security training firm based in Bethesda, Md.