It is always not easy to identify the perpetrator of a cyberattack. Once the victim of a cyber offensive has identified the attack and decided to use a public strategy, it has two major options: firstly to reveal the attack and attribute it to the alleged attacker; or secondly reveal only the fact that the attack had occurred, without attribution.
In the current political and technical landscape, it is important to consider cyberattacks in the wider strategic context. In certain geopolitical situations, it is in the victim’s interests to reveal the aggressive actions of its adversary. This might look at first like the victim admitting to its vulnerabilities. Yet, in a long-term cost-benefit analysis, sometimes it is better to ‘call out’ the aggressor as flouting international laws and norms than to keep quiet.
… Gil Baram is an Adjunct Fellow with the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), a unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU). This first appeared in RSIS Commentaries.
Last updated on 20/09/2019