Transcript of "Cyberwar threat to national security"
BYTALWANT SINGHSPECIAL JUDGE-CBI NEW DELHI (INDIA)
CYBERWAR: THE NEXT THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY There is no precise definition of „Cyberwar‟. The Shanghai Co-operation Organization (members include China and Russia) defines cyberwar to include dissemination of information harmful to the spiritual, moral and cultural spheres of other states. In contrast, the United States‟ approach focuses on physical and economic damage and injury, putting political concerns under freedom of speech. This difference of opinion has led to reluctance among Nations to pursue global cyber arms control agreements.
CYBERWAR: THE NEXT THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY A Ukrainian Professor of International Law, Alexander Merezhko, has developed a project called “The International Convention on Prohibition of Cyberwar in Internet”. According to this project, cyberwar is defined as the use of internet and related technological means by one state against political, economic, technological and information sovereignty and independence of any other state.
CYBERWAR: THE NEXT THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY The world needs cyber war "Rules of Engagement" to cope with potentially devastating cyber weapons. In the intermingled world of cyberspace, we may need to protect zones that run facilities such as hospitals or schools. Discriminating between military and civilian targets is more difficult in cyberspace, and may require protected, marked, domain names.
CYBERWAR: THE NEXT THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY Ambiguity about what constitutes cyber conflict is delaying international policy to deal with it, and that perhaps the idea of "peace" or "war" is too simple in the internet age when the world could find itself in a third, "other than war", mode. Ensuring security in cyberspace is vital to our national security, our well being and our prosperity. Without it we cant have the economy we aspire to have.
CYBERWAR: THE NEXT THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY Cyber weapons have attributes not previously seen with traditional weapons, nor considered during the development of the current Laws of War. Cyber weapons can deliver, in the blink of an eye, wild viral behaviors that are easily reproduced and transferred, while lacking target discrimination.
CYBERWAR: THE NEXT THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY The nature of cyber space, with its ease of anonymity and use of proxies, makes the attribution of any attack very difficult. This raises the question of proportionality. How strongly should a state respond to an attack when you do not know who did it, where they did it from or what the intention was? In conventional military terms these questions are easier to answer - not so in the cyber world.
CYBERWAR: THE NEXT THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY Capabilities which currently exist include turning off power grids, disrupting water supplies, financial systems and manufacturing facilities. Countries should exchange strategies and information to build confidence over the long term, so one never gets to the point of a cyber conflict or even a larger conflict. Any such agreement remains a distant prospect because nations lack common legal standards in cyberspace and information security is closely connected with national interests.
CYBERWAR: THE NEXT THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY The infamous Stuxnet worm was blamed for infecting industrial control systems and sabotaging centrifuges at controversial Iranian nuclear facilities. Some have described this malware as the worlds first cyber-weapon though cyber-espionage in many guises has undoubtedly been practiced by intelligence agencies across the world for many years.
CYBERWAR: THE NEXT THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY Computer systems underpin the delivery of essential services, including utilities and telecoms and well as banking and government services. Although attacks against various critical systems are commonplace they tend to be low level information-stealing or denial of service exploits. Cyberwar risks are all too real and illustrated by the denial of services attacks that blitzed Estonia off the web and the Operation Aurora assaults against Google and other high-tech firms.
CYBERWAR: THE NEXT THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY The cyberwar lexicon is especially confusing because it remains immature. For example, there is no agreed definition of what constitutes a cyber attack on a nation or a breach of sovereignty. Often theft, espionage, reconnaissance or even simple hacking is described as a cyber attack.
CYBERWAR: THE NEXT THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY National and international laws, regulations, and enforcement are still struggling to catch up to cyber activities worldwide. Rules, protocols, and standards are few and disconnected, often conflicting with each other. In most cases, laws have not kept pace with the technical ability of an adversary to move rapidly through national, academic, commercial, and private internet service providers.
CYBERWAR: THE NEXT THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY Protection of strategic-crucial infrastructure and vital information for national security is of utmost importance. The rules of cyberwar, once adopted, will help to define conditions in which the armed forces can go on the offensive against cyber threats and decide what specific actions it can take. The laws of land warfare and law of armed conflict apply to cyberspace.
CYBERWAR: THE NEXT THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY Nation states, non-nation state actors and hacker groups are creating tools that are increasingly more persistent & threatening, and armed forces have to be ready for that. Rules of Cyberwar must determine what represents a reasonable & proportional response to a cyber attack as the law of armed conflict authorizes a reasonable, proportional defense against a physical attack from another country.
CYBERWAR: THE NEXT THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY It remains unclear if the response to cyber attack includes authority to shut down a computer network, even if it‟s been taken over by a malicious cyber attacker with intention to destroy it. If it does, also left unanswered so far is who would have that authority: the Ministry of IT, the CBI, the military, the Cert-In, the internet service provider or any other entity.
CYBERWAR: THE NEXT THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY THANKS TALWANT SINGH SPECIAL JUDGE CBI NEW DELHI firstname.lastname@example.org
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