Cyber Warfare

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The Second Oxford Statement on International Law Protections of the Healthcare Sector During COVID-19: Safeguarding Vaccine Research

The alarming spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic—now infecting nearly 19 million and claiming more than 700,000 lives worldwide—has made it increasingly urgent to define international law protections for the health care sector against malicious cyber operations. In May 2020, malicious cyberattacks on organizations at the frontline of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic—including the World Health Organization, medical providers, research institutes, pharmaceutical manufacturers, hospitals and hospital networks—triggered a two-day virtual workshop at the University of Oxford. That workshop—co-sponsored by the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) at the Blavatnik School of Government, Microsoft, and the Government of Japan—yielded the first Oxford Statement on the International Law Protections against Cyber Operations Targeting the Health-Care Sector.  More than 130 international lawyers from across the globe (including some of the field’s most experienced and accomplished figures) have become signatories to this Statement. It articulated a short list of consensus protections that apply under existing international law to cyber operations targeting the healthcare sector. Its announcement sparked discussion at a May 2020…

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Cyber Operations against Vaccine R & D: Key International Law Prohibitions and Obligations

By August, COVID-19 had killed 700,000 people world-wide, while at least 18 million have been infected by the virus. It now appears that the best hope for battling the pandemic may lie in multiple vaccines. This reality has sparked vaccine nationalism, as states compete for the supplies that hopefully will become available early next year. For…

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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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