International Humanitarian Law: Attack of the Binary Bullet?

  •  Helen Wilson    
  •  Patrick van Esch    


Cyberspace has emerged as the 5th domain combat zone from which large scale cyber-attacks are launched at an adversary anonymously in milliseconds, by a single stroke on a computer keyboard or mobile device. Such cyber-warfare operations deliberately seek to deceive, degrade, destroy or disrupt computer systems and networks in a battle-space that transcends borders, under the shroud of secrecy to the attacker’s identity or source (Herbert, 2012). Unlike past armed conflicts between nations, conventional weaponry, warring combatants and military objectives were readily identifiable features of the conflict. Cyber-warfare, is asymmetric and can be deceptively and expeditiously instigated by States, Non-State actors, organised groups or sole operators targeting computer networks (e.g. Estonian attack in 2007, Stuxnet attack in 2010).

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