The Attribution Problem in Cyber Attacks

by Dimitar Kostadinov
Oct. 7, 2017 0 comments INFOSEC Institute

This article examines the problem of attribution of cyber attack from all sides. The attribution of activities carried out through the Internet is extremely difficult and, in many cases, impossible to achieve. However, the law of war requires that the initial cyber attack must be attributed before a counterattack is permitted. A key part of the use of active defense measures is the ability of one state to hold another state responsible for a cyber attack. The attribution of an attack to a state or state agents is a condicio sine qua non under international law. There are many preconditions and obscure moments that decision-makers need to consider when it comes to the question of the correct attribution of cyber attacks and the present article may shed some light on them.