Title: The Consequences of State-Level Intrusions: A Risk Worth Taking?

Issue Number: Vol. 3, No. 2
Year of Publication: Jun - 2014
Page Numbers: 122-129
Authors: Murdoch Watney
Journal Name: International Journal of Cyber-Security and Digital Forensics (IJCSDF)
- Hong Kong
DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.17781/P001329


Over the years states have intruded the cyberspace of other states. Does the offending state consider the consequences it may face for the intrusion under international law and/or at international level? Is the position at present so uncertain that a state may decide that the risk is worth taking in view of the problems experienced with establishing attribution or is the injured state being second guessed on its reaction? This discussion explores, with reference to examples of state-level intrusions, whether the intrusion is prohibited under the international law or not and the possible consequences the offending state may face. The danger exists that as countries develop and/or improve their cyber capabilities, they may follow the example of countries who had intruded the cyberspace of other countries. It will be difficult for the latter to preach restraint from the moral high ground. Past state behaviour illustrates that states will put national interests and aspirations above trust, openness and transparency in cyberspace. Cyberspace is becoming a crowded place where state behaviour necessitates governance otherwise cyberspace will become lawless to the detriment of all states including those states who in the past may have decided state-intrusion is a risk worth taking.