Incident Response, TDR

NATO cyber defense ambassador reflects on cyberwarfare’s ethics

NATO's recent Warsaw Summit proclamation that cyberspace is an official domain of warfare, along with Russia's reported cyber aggressions against the U.S. and Ukraine, raises interesting logical and ethical questions about how one can responsibly plan and manage cyberwarfare.

Kenneth Geers, senior research scientist at Comodo Group and ambassador with the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), addressed this very topic in a session at Black Hat that analyzed the Russian-Ukrainian cyber conflict.

“Hacking is not really something you can do overnight and so that means militaries are faced with the uncomfortable task of hacking a lot in peacetime in order to get ready for theoretical wars that may never happen,” said Geers, who co-authored and edited the CCDCOE's book Cyber War in Perspective: Russian Aggression Against Ukraine.

Moreover, as a cyberwarrior, you may have to “hack your way through a lot of civic infrastructure and third-party countries in to get to your target,” he said.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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