Cyber war and the concept of "attack" in international humanitarian law
International humanitarian law and the changing technology of war
Leiden ; Boston : M. Nijhoff, 2013
This chapter first consider the types of actions which constitute so-called "cyber attacks", before analysing in detail the requirements of the concept of an "attack" generally under the existing law of armed conflict, based on the definition provided in Additional Protocol I of 1977. Those requirements will then be "mapped" to the salient features of "cyber attack" already identified, with a view to identifying the characteristics of "cyber attack" that render them "attacks" under IHL. State practice as to the use of such "cyber attack" in situations of armed conflict is almost non-existent, the sole known example being that of the Russia-Georgia conflict in 2008. Reported examples of "cyber attacks" from that conflict will be considered, as a concluding case study, to illustrate the operation of these principles in practice.