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Estonia Two-and-A-Half Years Later: A Progress Report on Combating Cyber Attacks

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Shackelford, Scott
Journal: Journal of Internet Law
Date: 2009
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/10242
Sector: Information & Knowledge
Subject(s): cybersecurity
international law
internet governance
Abstract: "The central topic of this article is uncovering in brief what is being, and can be done to counter these attacks, both at the national and international level. The focus is on the last two-and-a-half years since the specter of cyber war fully entered public consciousness on the international scene with the cyber attack on Estonia. The question presented is what progress has been made since that time? In short, the answer is very little. Many nations have found mutual benefit in the status quo strategic ambiguity. National information infrastructures, and the World Wide Web in general, remain acutely vulnerable to cyber attacks. Without concerted multilateral action, such as by coordinating the more than 250 Cyber Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) currently operating around the world while also clarifying the applicable legal regime, this intolerable state of affairs will continue. The structure of the article is as follows. Part I analyzes the threat of cyber attacks to international peace and security. Part II briefly summarizes the current cyber defense policies of the major players, to the extent that information is publicly available, including the United States, Russia, China, and NATO. Part III lays out the current legal regime that may be applied to cyber attacks, highlighting the significant gaps in the system. Finally, Part IV concludes by arguing for the need for a new regime for regulating cyber attacks and proposes new minilateral and multilateral measures that should be taken to more effectively protect information infrastructures from cyber attacks."

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