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Exploring the Subculture of Ideologically Motivated Cyber-Attackers


Research on physical, that is, violent, terror attacks and extremism has increased dramatically over the last decade. The growth of the Internet and computer technology has also led to concern over the use of cyberattacks by ideologically motivated offenders to cause harm and further their political and social agendas. There is, however, a lack of empirical research on cyber-attackers limiting our knowledge of the factors that affect their behavior. This study addresses this empirical gap through a qualitative analysis of 10 interviews conducted with ideologically motivated Turkish computer hackers. The findings demonstrated that Turkish hackers motivated by an ideological agenda reflected the larger values of the hacker subculture, though the targets for their attacks were shaped directly by religious or political beliefs. We conclude by discussing in depth our findings and implications for counterterror and cybersecurity policy and practice.

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Holt, Thomas J., Joshua D. Freilich, and Steven M. Chermak. 2017. "Exploring the Subculture of Ideologically Motivated Cyber-Attackers." Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice (April). http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1043986217699100

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