Jihadists have yet to shut down a power grid, paralyse a transport network or banking system or take over a key industrial site from afar, but experts say the threat of such a cyber attack should be taken seriously. Analysts fear that while extremist groups may not have the necessary skills themselves, they could hire someone else to wreak havoc.

“Digital attacks with major impacts are unlikely in the short term,” said Guillaume Poupard, head of France’s digital security service ANSSI, speaking to AFP at an international cyber security conference in Lille, France. “However, that could change very fast. Our real fear, and we may already be there, is that they will use mercenaries, people who will do anything for money,” Poupard said. READ MORE