Hack Attack: Options If Attacked in Cyberspace Gerald T Yap

ISBN: 9781499225860

Published: April 23rd 2014


34 pages


Hack Attack: Options If Attacked in Cyberspace  by  Gerald T Yap

Hack Attack: Options If Attacked in Cyberspace by Gerald T Yap
April 23rd 2014 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 34 pages | ISBN: 9781499225860 | 4.16 Mb

The cyber domain has changed the way individuals, private industry, and countries do business. This reliance on cyber has also added another dimension in the interrelations between these parties especially when undesirable or hostile circumstances are detected. The relationship between sovereign states can be tested by many aspects including when a state is threatened by an adverse action. These actions are not limited to the traditional economic or physical attacks, but now also to an attack in the cyber domain. Government, military, and legal experts have been extensively studying the effects and legalities of cyber activities on international relations.

When provoked in a cyber attack in a peacetime environment, it can be argued that states are unlikely to retaliate unless the damage caused by these attacks pose a risk to the survival of the state. The reasons, in conception, may be easily simplified. But in reality, they are complicated technical problems with real political and international implications. First, cyber attack attribution is too difficult.

Second, the current international legal standards make it difficult to categorize a cyber attack as a true act of war justifying an armed response. Lastly, state sponsored cyber attacks are either rare, covert, or clandestinely executed, so the majority of the attributed attacks will likely be found as executed by non-state actors.

This makes retaliation more problematic. A sovereign state has little or no retaliation recourse against a cyber attack in the current international environment. The current international laws and norms have not caught up to the rapidly changing technology that is available both to common citizens and nation states. The international community needs to come together and provide a framework to formulate cyber standards in international law much like the Geneva Conventions did in the early 1900s for armed, physical warfare. The cyber attacks on the country of Estonia in mid-2007 provide an easy-to-understand case study on the complexities that revolve around the complicated cyber world.

This paper examines the issues that Estonia faced and their options. These attacks demonstrated the importance of cyber attack attribution. For months, Estonia publically blamed Russia for these attacks bringing diplomatic relations between the two countries to one of its lowest points in their history. This accusation may have been based more on the political climate at the time rather than on any solid evidence. So what were Estonias options? Any retaliatory action by Estonia could have proved disastrous as it was later discovered that a 20 year old Estonian citizen was responsible for the attack.

This book is not a technical assessment of the issues involved in cyber attacks. Instead, the purpose of this book is to give the reader a broad understanding of the current legal environment and the dilemma that an attacked nation finds itself when attacked in cyberspace.

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