ISSUE 1 RSRR BLOG SERIES RGNUL STUDENT RESEARCH REVIEW (RSRR) CYBER ATTACKS, ESPIONAGE AND INTRUSIONS: THE LAW GOVERNING THE NEW GLOBAL FRONTLINES

Hamid Naved
unpublished
rd year student, B.A. LLB(HONS.), RGNUL, Punjab On 28 th June, 2017 the Jawaharlal Nehru (in Mumbai) port was hit by a malware (known as "Petya") cyber-attack. As a result of the damage caused by this attack, one of the terminals at the Port was rendered inoperative leading to a disruption in the arrival and departure of cargo. 1 Another malware known as "Flame" was found to be used, primarily, for the purpose of collecting information in the form of keyboard activity and skype conversations in
more » ... pe conversations in the Middle East. 2 Exceeding the two aforementioned attacks in damage caused was the "Stuxnet" malware, created by Israeli and American Intelligence Agencies, which was used to destroy centrifuges used in the Iranian Nuclear program. 3 All of these incidents are examples of cyber intrusion which, in the words of the U.S. Department of Defence, are incidents of unauthorized access to data or an automated information system'. 4 However, cyber intrusions are merely an umbrella term covering a broad degree of activities carried out through the digital medium. To be precise, incidents like the "Flame" attack can best be defined as cyber espionage; on the other hand, in cases like Stuxnet where state actors cause significant damage to a target digital network, then the term cyber warfare is applied. This distinction is quite important from a legal point of view. A fair amount of consensus exists regarding the argument that cyber warfare is illegal from the point of international law and custom. Cyber Warfare has been defined as a cyber-intrusion of such scale that it causes damage and destruction to the extent that it involves "use of force" and resembles the effect of armed attacks. 5 The position of law regarding international espionage on the other hand is much more ambiguous. This blog will work to underline the key differences between these two activities. Cyber Espionage refers to activities in which a person obtains unauthorized access to information stored in digital format or computer and IT networks. Earlier in the article emphasis was placed upon the presence of "use of force" to unlawful cyber intrusions or cyber warfare. This idea of "use of force" as a defining factor for separating lawful and unlawful intrusions is
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