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This symposium explores some of the legal issues surrounding the attribution of cyber conduct to states. Relative to states' other activities, cyber conduct poses particularly thorny attribution challenges. States that engage in such conduct often use technology to obscure their identities or the full effects of their operations. The attribution challenges in turn raise difficult questions about how victim states should be allowed to respond—whether in kind, with other retorsions or countermeasures, with kinetic force, or by doing nothing at all. For example, how confident must a victim state be that it has correctly identified the source of the attack before responding? Should its degree of certainty depend on whether it believes that the cyberattack amounts to an “armed attack” under the jus ad bellum and thus triggers the right to use defensive force? And how much information, if any, must the victim state disclose about the attack or its author in order to justify a response?

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.