The Definition of Cyber Attack

618 WordsFeb 18, 20182 Pages
The Definition of Cyber Attack The most important thing that needs to be done before taking the debate on the status of cyber attacks under international laws of war any forward is to specifically define a “cyber attack”. Scholars generally use the terms such as “information warfare”, “cyber warfare”, “cyber threats”, “computer network attacks”, etc as alternatives for “cyber attacks” without a reference to any particular definition or limitation of scope. Perhaps this is done on a supposition that a standard definition of this term is already prevalent. This unfortunately is not true. Speaking specifically about the literature on cyber attacks, the term is comprehended primarily in two ways: while some talk about technology and computer networks as instruments of the attack, others use computers and information & technology networks as the objects of the attack. The difference in the perceptions of cyber attack is rather complicating because it makes the nature of the operative term “cyber” all the more ambiguous, causing serious vagueness in any use-of-force or armed attack analysis. This becomes particularly problematic when applying any leading models on the assessment of use of force because these models employ instrumentality, target and effects as the basis for analysis. Moreover, there must be an understanding of what exactly is a cyber attack before discussing whether it falls under the use of force notion or not because it will not only affect the value and
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