The Challenges Posed by Cyber Attacks to the Law on Self-Defence

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

States have become increasingly dependent on computers and the networks that connect them. The development of cyber space enables States and non-State actors to increase their offensive capabilities significantly. Cyber attacks can now be carried out more easily and with a lower risk of detection than attacks with conventional weapons. These attacks may produce effects that are not only internal to a computer or network but also external, by causing harm to connected facilities which could in turn lead to serious physical harm to property or individuals. Such would be the case for example when a computer network attack disables an air traffic control system and causes an airliner to crash. This paper addresses a number of challenges posed by cyber attacks to the law of self-defence. Section II outlines the international criteria for the attribution of a cyber operation to a State. Section III argues that only cyber attacks reaching the level of an armed attack give the right to the victim State to use self-defence. Section IV explains that the law on self-defence does not offer an effective response to cyber attacks because, as international law stands, only cyber attacks attributed to States trigger the right to self-defence. Section V concludes that current international law on self-defence needs to be adapted to meet the challenges posed by cyber attacks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Society of International Law (ESIL) SSRN Conference Paper Series
EditorsChristina Binder, Photini Pazartsis, Mario Prost
Pages1-16
Number of pages16
Volume4
Edition16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventESIL 10th Anniversary Conference - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 4 Sep 20146 Sep 2014
https://esil2014.univie.ac.at/home/

Conference

ConferenceESIL 10th Anniversary Conference
CountryAustria
CityVienna
Period4/09/146/09/14
Internet address

Fingerprint

self-defense
Law
international law
conventional weapon
air traffic control
control system
attribution
cause

Keywords

  • international law
  • cyber attacks
  • self-defence
  • attribution
  • armed attack

Cite this

Couzigou, I. (2015). The Challenges Posed by Cyber Attacks to the Law on Self-Defence. In C. Binder, P. Pazartsis, & M. Prost (Eds.), European Society of International Law (ESIL) SSRN Conference Paper Series (16 ed., Vol. 4, pp. 1-16) https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2593868

The Challenges Posed by Cyber Attacks to the Law on Self-Defence. / Couzigou, Irene.

European Society of International Law (ESIL) SSRN Conference Paper Series. ed. / Christina Binder; Photini Pazartsis; Mario Prost. Vol. 4 16. ed. 2015. p. 1-16.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Couzigou, I 2015, The Challenges Posed by Cyber Attacks to the Law on Self-Defence. in C Binder, P Pazartsis & M Prost (eds), European Society of International Law (ESIL) SSRN Conference Paper Series. 16 edn, vol. 4, pp. 1-16, ESIL 10th Anniversary Conference , Vienna, Austria, 4/09/14. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2593868
Couzigou I. The Challenges Posed by Cyber Attacks to the Law on Self-Defence. In Binder C, Pazartsis P, Prost M, editors, European Society of International Law (ESIL) SSRN Conference Paper Series. 16 ed. Vol. 4. 2015. p. 1-16 https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2593868
Couzigou, Irene. / The Challenges Posed by Cyber Attacks to the Law on Self-Defence. European Society of International Law (ESIL) SSRN Conference Paper Series. editor / Christina Binder ; Photini Pazartsis ; Mario Prost. Vol. 4 16. ed. 2015. pp. 1-16
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