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What is cyber terrorism?

Most Minnesota residents who have a computer are probably familiar with things like antivirus software or spyware programs. These products are designed to protect computers and networks against hackers or computer viruses that may corrupt or steal data. The online world has given rise to new opportunities in many ways and some people have turned to it for illegal activities. However, just as with any type of crime, the line between what is ethical and what is not can sometimes be hard to distinguish.

What Minnesotans should know but may not know is that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is involved in pursuing what may be classified as acts of cyber terror. This might involve allegations of an attempt to gain access to sensitive corporate data to somehow obtain or maintain a vital competitive advantage. It may involve accusations that a person or entity has attempted to illegally collect data in an attempt to commit fraud in an effort to achieve personal financial gain. Identity theft is another form of alleged cyber terrorism.

The FBI has a complete Cyber Division and all field offices have personnel with specific training in this area. People who have cause to have access to sensitive data in the line of duty must always be aware of activity that may put them in compromised positions.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give Minnesota residents an overview of the FBI's role in and definition of activities identifed as cyber terrorism.

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