Cyber Attacks, Self-Defence and the Problem of Attribution
Journal of Conflict & Security Law (2012), Vol. 17 No. 2, 229–244
16 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2014
Date Written: July 24, 2012
This article examines the conditions under which a cyber attack can trigger a State’s right to self-defense and argues that the current international law standards for attributing attacks to a State can cover the case of cyber attacks. More speciﬁcally, the victim State can use force by way of self-defense against another State if the attack has been committed by the latter’s organs or agents or has been committed by non-State actors tolerated by that State. When no State is implicated in the cyber attack, the victim State can take direct self-defense action against the non-State actor. It is however noted that future State practice may amplify further the attribution standards or introduce new standards.
Keywords: Cyber attack, self-defence, attribution, use of force, attribution standards
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation