Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Warfare in Cyberspace

In an article for The Times newspaper yesterday, Iain Lobban, director of GCHQ, spoke of attacks targeting the IT, technology, defence, engineering and energy sectors, referencing a “significant” but unsuccessful attempt on the The Foreign Office over the summer.

“Most experts see cyberspace as tomorrow’s theatre of war but, in the absence of specific international legal rules on cyber warfare, we are left with very little guidance as to how to deal with a cyber attack originating from other states,” said Dr Marco Roscini, reader in international law at the University of Westminster, commenting ahead of the London Cyberspace Conference.

“Cyber attacks don’t employ traditional weapons, but in this day and age there is no reason why only those attacks involving physical weapons with explosive effects should be treated, potentially, as an act of war,” he added. “The use of other non-kinetic dual-use weapons, such as chemical and bacteriological, would undoubtedly be treated as an ‘armed’ attack and a cyber attack should not be treated any differently should the consequences be comparable.”


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