Arms dealing in cyberspace: Questions we need to answer

By | August 03, 2012

Posted in: Network Security Trends

Alex Sanchez, Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, and participant in the International Cybersecurity Dialogue, introduces the issues surrounding cyber arms dealing, especially as they relate to Latin America in today's Cyber Domain blog on

At the last meeting of the ICD Alex introduced the question of cyber arms dealing from the perspective of Latin America, but it is obviously an important question for the entire world. His thoughts have given rise to the agenda for the next closed-door session of the ICD, where we will be discussing:

  • What are the implications of cyber arms dealing from an international policy and technology perspective?

  • How will the international community determine the appropriate use of these weapons?

  • What international law regulates the appropriate response to completely overt and utterly hostile intent?

  • What is a legitimate right to protect in cyber?

  • What should the cyber norms of engagement be?

  • Will U.S. and other national defense contractors compete in a new global arms race to develop and sell cyber weapons?

  • How can the U.S. and the international community restrict the sale of cyber weapons?

  • Will the U.S. restrict defensive measures against its own cyber weapons?

  • How should states react to intrusions in their own cyber domains now? When is equivalence to kinetic attack ascribed?

  • How will the insurance industry underwrite the risks and assign responsibility for the range of damages from cyber malware to cyber attacks?

  • Should there be alerting mechanisms between friendly states to avoid the spread of weaponized malware to their own infrastructure?

These are critical question to ask now that cyber weapons - Duqu, Flame,and Stuxnet - have been confirmed.

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