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The Terror Risk to Current Water Infrastructure Systems

The Terror Risk to Current Water Infrastructure Systems

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Title: The Terror Risk to Current Water Infrastructure Systems
Author: Cioffi, Giovanna
Identifier: MESMP02555
Abstract: Unquestionably, water maintains a critical role within society. It is precisely this role that makes it an attractive target for potential adversaries. As it currently stands, water
infrastructures are significantly vulnerable to attacks; their risk however, is questionable. As such, this work will analyze the security of water infrastructure systems. It will
discuss the systems involved in the treatment of water and waste water, and how various processes can be vulnerable to four main threats: biological, chemical, cyber and physical
threats. Additionally, this work will challenge the conventional view of terrorism through the perspective of Critical Terrorism Studies as a means to discuss how non-traditional
threats such as privatization and neoliberalization may also be seen as threats. Moreover, this work will also explore how each of these threats may be realized, and it will
furthermore utilize case studies and professional interviews to achieve this.

Attacks upon water infrastructure systems are not new. In fact, such attacks have been reported as far back as 500 BCE. What is new, however, is the evolving threat
landscape. Given the convenience of the Internet, a single individual can research almost any topic to his or her desire, including vulnerabilities within critical infrastructure
systems. To add to this, one does not have to search deep into the web to find information on how to inflict serious damage. Certainly, the twenty-first century has its prospects, but
it certainly has its perils as well. This work will attempt to address vulnerabilities, and furthermore, what is at stake if nothing remains to be done.
Type: Major Paper
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/30282
Citation: Major Paper, Master of Environmental Studies, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University
Date: 2015

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