International Legal Regulation Of Conduction Of Cyber Warfare In The 21st Century

  • I.R. Ptashnyk
Keywords: cyber-weapons, international law, international humanitarian law, the activities of international organizations, an international treaty, an armed conflict.


Today's biggest debate has been connected to the possibility of application of rules of international humanitarian law to cases of cyberattacking in armed conflicts. However, to fully understand the problem there is the need for definition and features of cyber warfare. During the research the author defines cyber war as a large-scale coordinated digital attack on the government by another government or large groups of citizens. This is an act of the state for penetration into computers or networks of other countries for the purpose of causing harm or violation.

Today, the main features of the cyberwar are: the lack of a clearly expressed «aggressor», the peculiarity of the attacks, the absence of visible destruction, special means of attack, the time of the commission of prohibited acts.

We can state that today there is no legally binding international instrument that fully regulates relations in the area of cyberspace use. Cyberattacks are a form of aggression and they should be prohibited by international law in one of two ways: either by adopting an international convention or supplementing the notion of aggression.

While conducting a study the author analyzed the relevant provisions of four Geneva Convention 1949 and their Additional Protocol 1977; issues and provisions of Tallinn Manual 2.0. International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations.