Seminal Article Critique on Hacking Essay Example

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Student Name – Student Number – Journal Article Critique

Critical Article Review


The peer reviewed article written by Furnelb and Warren, reviews research literature involving Computer Hacking and Cyber Terrorism. The authors extend upon their experience as computer scientists and lecturers at leading universities, to discuss the purpose of the article, which concerns how new millennium has a significant dependence upon cyber-attacks, as a result of this, we have a number of immediate cyber threats that need to be addressed in order for affirmative action to be taken (Walton, 2017). Furnelb and Warren argue in their article, “Computer Hacking and Cyber Terrorism: The Real Threats in the New Millennium?” It is conceivable to view technology as some sort of «awesome equalizer» between significant nations/governments and other groups. This is a combat zone where achievement depends upon scholarly aptitudes and programming creativity rather than sheer volume and physical assets (Wolfe, 2015). To put it clear, people or small groups may, in principle, have as much shot of prevailing as a superpower. Furnelb and Warren further argues that it takes an intelligence failure to make a “wake-up call” which then turns into a focusing event which can motivate Cyber Terrorism and high Computer Hacking (Walton, 2017), however most hackers acts do not meet these criteria for a variety of reasons. Furnelb and Warren uses a variety of evidence to explain the theories he uses in his argument to include prior studies that produced analyses and theories, quotes from other professional sources that have published works in reference to this topic albeit on a different scope (Banks, 2016). A review of examples of past computer hacking attacks and their subsequent effects on intelligence performance and the society.

Article Critique:

To begin with, in discussing the effects of Hackers acts on the organizations and the government reaction to the attacks, the scope of this article is whether computer hacking and cyber terrorism are the real threat in the new millennium. The government is effectively making use of the lessons learned from hacker’s attacks. To constitute a lesson learned, the attack must be what Furnelb and Warrenrefers to as a “Real threat in the millennium” and must touch policy makers, intelligence professionals, and the public. For a real threat to truly motivate change in policy and improvement in intelligence performance, it must be a focusing point (Glenny and Kavanagh, 2012). Furnelb and Warren refers back to studies conducted about cyber terrorism to explain what constitutes as cyber terrorism, how to determine if an act is, was, or may be a cyber terrorism, and the subsequent changes that could occur as a result of the cyber terrorism. Other published works by cyber-crime professionals on cyber terrorism are also referenced in Furnelb and Warren article, lending credence to his application of computer hacking and cyber terrorism in their role of lessons learned and not learned by the government and organizations post hackers attacks (Banks, 2016).

Furnelb and Warren also uses other professional and scholarly sources to show popularity of agreement on statements of claim that he makes throughout his article particularly as it pertains to the overall view of whether government and organizations are properly learning lessons from hackers attacks (Banks, 2016). Furnelb and Warren are exceedingly effective in using this method not just from recent quotes but even from older sources that stated their professional and scholarly assessments of the organizations and society in general. In learning lessons even from decades before, showing a consistent pattern of the government and institutions to properly capitalize on its failures by learning and thus preventing future failures (Lin, 2016).

According to Shackelford et al. (2015), the greatest argument a writer or researcher can ever offer is a fact-based example and assessment of the example evidencing the writer’s argument that he wishes to convince his audience of. Furnelb and Warren provide a stellar example of this through his use of the hacking problems based on different countries. It is hard to foresee decisively how terrorists groups may utilize the Internet later on (Adams, 2013). Nonetheless, it is viewed that cyber terrorism will turn out to be more appealing to terrorist groups. Furnelb and Warren shows through the actions of the government and the reactions of the people and policy changes how the cyber terrorism was more of a focusing point and effective implementation of the organizations and the government learned lesson than the far-away, though more devastating, attack on the developed countries. Furnelb and Warren further shows how the US’s reactions to the cyber terrorism directly and successfully prevented a future attack and proceeded to question how neither of these attacks were successful enough in their lessons to prevent more cyber terrorism attacks (Porter, 2016).

The overall consensus that Furnelb and Warren argues, using all three of the aforementioned supporting arguments, is that even in lessons effectively learned from the government and institutions through computer hacking attacks, the lessons learned are short-lived (Kelsey, 2008). The more drastic and close-to-home the attack hits, the longer the lesson will be in the forefront of the minds of intelligence professionals and policy makers, but the quicker the attack is forgotten, the quicker the lesson is unlearned, leaving organizations and government vulnerable once again.


This article directly relates to my proposed topic arguing that Computer Hacking and Cyber Terrorism are The Real Threats in the New Millennium, the government and organizations are reactive in address of cyber terrorism events of the past for national security purposes. Not only does this article go in-depth discussing the process of a reactive change as a result of a past attack, it also shows how often, there is no reaction at all, meaning the government and organizations not properly addressing the computer hacking and cyber terrorism issues they face from hackers. This article has provided me with a good basis of where to go in my research and a mapped plan of researching and provided examples in a similar context to Furnelb and Warren article finding specific focusing events and following their path of reaction through the hackers post-attack as a means of providing fact-based examples to evidence my argument.


Adams, JA 2013, ‘when the lights go out’, Economic Development Journal, 12, 3, pp. 49-56, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 18 April 2017

Banks, W.C., 2016. Cyber Espionage and Electronic Surveillance: Beyond the Media Coverage. Emory LJ66, p.513.

Furnell, S. M., & Warren, M. J. (1999). Computer Hacking and Cyber Terrorism: The Real Threats in the New Millennium? COMPUTERS AND SECURITY. 18, 28-34.

Kelsey, J. T. (2008). Hacking into international humanitarian law: The principles of distinction and neutrality in the age of cyber warfare. Michigan Law Review, 1427-1451.

Shackelford, S. J., Proia, A. A., Martell, B., & Craig, A. N. (2015). Toward a Global Cybersecurity Standard of Care: Exploring the Implications of the 2014 NIST Cybersecurity Framework on Shaping Reasonable National and International Cybersecurity Practices. Tex. Int’l LJ50, 305.

Glenny, M. and Kavanagh, C., 2012. 800 titles but no policy—Thoughts on cyber warfare. American foreign policy interests34(6), pp.287-294.

Walton, B.A., 2017. Duties Owed: Low-Intensity Cyber Attacks and Liability for Transboundary Torts in International Law.

Porter, C., 2016. Toward Practical Cyber Counter Deception. Journal of International Affairs70(1), p.161.

Lin, H.S., 2016. Attribution of Malicious Cyber Incidents: From Soup to Nuts.

Wolfe, N.A., 2015. Using the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Secure Public Data Exclusivity. Nw. J. Tech. & Intell. Prop.13, p.iii.