Cyber Operations as a Use of Force
Nicholas Tsagourias and Russell Buchan (eds.), Research Handbook on International Law and Cyberspace, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015, 233-254
39 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2015 Last revised: 12 Jan 2016
Date Written: March 31, 2014
The determination of the threshold above which a cyber operation amounts to a use of force under Article 2(4) of the UN Charter has proved to be a very contentious issue. The present Chapter addresses this problem and first establishes what is meant by ‘armed’ force and whether cyber operations can qualify as such. It then distinguishes between cyber attacks and cyber exploitation and, within the former, between cyber attacks that cause, or are reasonably likely to cause, physical damage to persons or property, those that incapacitate infrastructures without physically damaging them, and other cyber attacks and cyber-related conduct.
Keywords: cyber warfare, cyber operations, cyber attack, international law, use of force, United Nations Charter
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation