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Cryptocurrency theft, scam and other misadventures: what prospects for international governance?

On 15 July 2020, Twitter accounts belonging to Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and other public figures were subject to coordinated “social engineering” attacks. According to Twitter, the attackers “successfully targeted some of [the company’s] employees with access to internal systems and tools”. The compromised accounts swiftly set in motion a large-scale cryptocurrency fraud scheme, inviting Twitter users to send Bitcoins to an unverified wallet, with the promise of a 2:1 return on every transaction. The tweets were prefaced by the message “I am giving back to the community”, in an apparent attempt to capitalize on the current political momentum in the US. This was the second large-scale cryptocurrency scam executed on Twitter this year. In January, verified Twitter accounts were taken over by scammers and transformed into identical copies of Elon Musk’s official account, inviting Twitter users to a “crypto party”. While the above incidents may be attributed to security flaws, internal protocol breaches or carelessness in the administration and storage of credentials by…

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EJIL: The Podcast! Episode 3 – Hacked Off!

In the latest episode of EJIL: The Podcast! is now available. This episode focuses on the application of international law to cyber operations by states and non-state actors. For this discussion, Sarah, Nouwen, Marko Milanovic and I are joined by Harriet Moynihan (Chatham House), and Tilman Rodenhäuser (International Committee of…

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Cyber Attacks and Cyber (Mis)information Operations during a Pandemic

Hot on the heels on the Oxford Statement on international law rules and principles relating to malicious cyber operations targeting healthcare facilities, just a quick teaser that the next episode of EJIL: The Podcast! will be dealing precisely…

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Oxford Statement on the International Law Protections Against Cyber Operations Targeting the Health Care Sector

Many have recently written about the application of international law in cyberspace and to the global COVID-19 pandemic, but relatively few have examined the intersection between these two areas. Notwithstanding that oversight, recent weeks have seen cyberattacks on organizations at the frontline of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including malicious cyber operations against the World Health…

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