Virtual Worlds + Botnets = Terrorist Training?

Could international terrorists utilize MMO-like virtual spaces to train for attacks?

Writing for the Counter-terrorism Blog, experts Roderick Jones and Michael Schrage speculate that virtual worlds hidden on botnets controlled by hackers could provide a useful venue for terrorists to meet, train and plan operations:

Terrorists are early adopters of new technologies – especially if they’re cheap and easy to acquire… the most visible recent advances in the realm of online collaboration -virtual worlds and social networking sites – will likely be adapted for use by extremists…

The real-world Afghanistan may be gone as a terrorist training safe-haven but creating virtual Afghanistans is literally and figuratively child’s play… Geographically dispersed terrorist groups could easily come together to learn the complex technical tradecraft of terror, such as bomb making – but within a virtual environment…

While the popular MMO Second Life might offer terrorists just the kind of virtual space needed, its use is unlikely as it would not be private enough for covert planning.

Systems such as the virtual world Second Life are unlikely to be used in this way, as potential jihadis will seek to operate behind private protected systems…

Botnets, however, are the likely solution: 

The same criminal gangs that use ‘malware’ and ‘spybots’ that secretly ‘recruit’ tens of thousands of unsuspecting home PCs and laptops into digital ‘zombies’ will ultimately become subcontractors to terror. Untraceably cheap and disposable ‘just-in-time’ virtual worlds that fuse the benefits of virtual worlds like Second Life with the criminal effectiveness of zombie botnets are inevitable.

They will be where tomorrow’s bin Ladens educate, train and coordinate…

Via: UPI

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