Date of Submission
Master of Science in National Security
Howard Stoffer, Ph.D.
Cyberbiosecurity, Cyber Hacking, U.S. Health Systems
Cyberterrorism, Biosecurity, Terrorist organizations, Information storage and retrieval systems--Primary health care
The research in this thesis explored the research question: Are United States (US) health systems accessible to cyber-bio terrorist attacks post-pandemic, within the context of the emerging discipline of cyberbiosecurity? Key findings of the analysis demonstrated how US health systems are more accessible to cyber-bio terrorist attacks specifically from cyber hacking groups based on the increasing sophistication of their cyber capabilities and the lack of cyber protection for biological systems. The concept of cyberbiosecurity was first introduced in 2018 by researchers exploring the converging threat landscape of the cyber and biology domains. As biology is growing more dependent upon vulnerable cyber infrastructure such as automation, artificial intelligence technologies, and Internet-connected devices, more threats exist for malicious actors to take advantage of those vulnerabilities and cause harm to public health, welfare, and security. With an overall increase in Internet usage, individuals working remotely, and online services and activities following the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, more information and data are stored, processed, and transmitted on vulnerable digital systems making them an attractive target for terrorist organizations (including cyber hacking groups and foreign terrorist groups). In addition, the advent of low-cost, advanced cyber and biotechnologies combined with easily available information, gives more people access to biological data and equipment that did not exist two decades ago. Although cyberbiosecurity encompasses more than just the security of healthcare systems -for the purposes of this scope- this thesis does not elaborate on cyber vulnerabilities and threats as applied to the agricultural or pastoral security domains. However, this thesis does cover cyber vulnerabilities and potential threats as they apply to healthcare systems, medical diagnosis, lab equipment, biotech supply chains, and biopharmaceuticals to name a few.
Dodge, Haley D., "Post Pandemic Cyberbiosecurity Threats from Terrorist Groups" (2022). Master's Theses. 197.