The Impact of the Paris Terrorist Attacks on the European and North American Threat Landscape

On November 13th Paris, France experienced its severest terrorist attack in history, done by ISIS members and affiliates.

The attack triggered a “cyber-war” between ISIS-affiliated hackers and the Anonymous Collective. Skirmishes like these occur almost regularly after a major terrorist attack between the two sides (as seen after previous attacks in France, Belgium and Denmark).
Below is a graph showing the activity of Cyber-Terrorists, in Western Europe and North America, in the weeks before and after the Paris attacks (by Industries).

Impact of Paris Terror attacks on cyber threat landscape

Impact of Paris Terror attacks on cyber threat landscape

It is interesting to note that in the weeks before the attacks there was hardly any cyber-terrorist activity, and it focused mostly on Government, Critical Infrastructure and Military targets (“the usual targets”).

But, right before the attacks, and much more significantly in the days after the attacks, the cyber-terrorist activity rose dramatically against a wide array of industries, subsiding only after two weeks. In this period the most targeted industries were Media, Government and Military, but other industries such as Education, Telecom and Banking and Finance also received ricochets from the conflict.
These insights have actionable implications on cybersecurity management and resource allocation. Cybersecurity professionals should take note of these patterns and be aware and prepared for the attacks that will follow the unfortunately-inevitable next terrorist attack in the Western world.

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