Safety and Security

Cyberterroristm, cybersecurity, dark web

Theme Overview

Our increasingly connected world presents serious security threats, from privacy violations (hacking, monitoring private communications, leaking sensitive data, stealing and publishing private information and images) to the drugs trade, sex trafficking and terrorism. Cyberspace is a key strategic and highly challenging environment. Governments, businesses and citizens face a range of cyber threats, from cybercrime and disruptive network attacks to emerging forms of cyber arms. With future developments including smart objects, networked healthcare, virtual currencies and three-dimensional printing, cyber threats will intensify. For this theme, the challenge is to take understandings of the threat posed by terrorists’ activities in cyberspace and to construct tools and data visualisation techniques to assess the possibility of terrorists launching cyberattacks against critical national infrastructures. The work will see us employ corpus-based discourse analysis and network analysis to examine online activities such as propaganda, planning, radicalization, training and fundraising. The impact-driving toolkits guidance and frameworks in this area will advance our understanding of the evolving security landscape by providing means to assess how the full range of terrorists’ online activities is changing the structures, aims and methods of terrorist organisations and by examining how terrorists’ (real or ascribed) use of the internet is changing the material underpinnings of cyber space.

Theme Leads

Markus Roggenbach


Markus Roggenbach

Dr. Markus Roggenbach, Associate Professor in Computer Science, is an internationally recognised expert in process algebra, tool development for Formal Methods. He has published 70+ peer-reviewed articles, edited ~10 volumes, and given 30+ invited talks at universities in Europe, Africa, and Asia. He is chairman of the IFIP WG 1.3 “Foundations of System Specification”. He has significant experience of technology transfer through regular co-operations with industry, including Siemens, Rolls-Royce, and McAfee.

Stuart Macdonald


Stuart Macdonald

Dr. Stuart Macdonald, Associate Professor in Law, co-directs the multidisciplinary research Cyberterrorism project which produced the first ever survey of the global research community on cyberterrorism; three major international symposia; two edited collections, examining the threat of terrorists launching cyberattacks (Springer 2014) and how terrorists use the Internet (Routledge 2015), and an internship within the Cyber Crime Unit at the Home Office. It has contributed to advanced training courses at NATO’s Centre of Excellence for Defence Against Terrorism.