Pages:7 (2040 words)
Document Type:Research Paper
Cyber espionage has become a critical component of modern cyber warfare as nation-states increasingly rely on cyberspace. However, cyber espionage had generated concerns regarding its acceptability given its potential threats to national security. This study explores the proposition that cyber security should be deemed an acceptable state behavior while cyber attack is unacceptable. This study seeks to answer the question, “How is cyber espionage an acceptable state behavior for intelligence gathering though it is a form of unacceptable cyberattack?” Background information to provide the context for this study is discussed as well as a review of existing literature on the topic. A qualitative case study research design based on the Just War Theory will be utilized to conduct this research. Data will be collected from professionals in international relations and cyber security as well as existing publications on recent cyber espionage activities by China and Russia.
Keywords: cyber espionage, acceptability, proposition, state behavior, cyberattack, relationship, intelligence gathering, national security.
Cyberspace has become an important element ins the operations of any given country because of today’s information age. The significance of cyberspace in a country’s operations is evident in its use at the operational level of modern warfare. At the strategic level, cyberspace is use to deter and influence the strategic balance of power in relation to the strengths and weaknesses of a state.[footnoteRef:1] However, the use of cyberspace in modern warfare has also been characterized by the emergence of cyber espionage, which is one of the most complex international problems in today’s world. Cyber espionage refers to the practice of obtaining secrets without the permission of the owner/possessor of the information.[footnoteRef:2] While it is a form of cyberattack, there is a proposition that cyber espionage is an acceptable state behavior. [1: Magnus Hjortdal, “China’s Use of Cyber Warfare: Espionage Meets Strategic Deterrence”, Journal of Strategic Security 4, no. 2 (2011):1] [2: Atul Agarwal & CERT-IN, “Cyber Espionage, Infiltration and Combating Techniques”, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, 2013. https://www.cert-in.org.in/Downloader?pageid=5&type=2&fileName=CIPS-2013-0128.pdf]
Cyber espionage has become one of the most important and complex international problem in today’s world. It is a practice that involves obtaining secrets without the permission of the owner/possessor of the information. The information is obtained for personal, political, economic or military advantage. Since this practice results in illegitimate possession of personal, sensitive, classified or proprietary information, it can generate numerous risks or threats to the owner/possessor of the information. Cyber espionage is carried out through various exploitation methods or techniques on individual computers, networks or the Internet. Some of these techniques or methods include the use of malicious software and computer viruses like Trojan horses and spyware. This practice basically entails intentional activities to infiltrate or penetrate computer systems or networks used by a rival to obtain information within or transmitted through these networks or systems.[footnoteRef:3] Cyber espionage has emerged as an international problem because of increased reliance on cyberspace by state and non-state actors. Nations across the globe including the United States, China and Russia are using cyberspace to commit cyber espionage. However, the legitimacy of this practice remains questionable amidst the proposition that it is an acceptable state behavior while cyberattack in unacceptable. [3: William C. Banks, “Cyber Espionage and Electronic Surveillance: Beyond the Media Coverage”, Emory law Journal 66, (2017):513.]
Cyber espionage involves illegal practices that result in information theft that could be used to attack an adversary. It poses threats and risks to relations between states and has become a complex international problem in the modern world. Cyber espionage is largely viewed as a new intelligence gathering approach and strategy for national security decisions. However, cyber espionage remains a form of cyberattack, which is legally and ethically unacceptable.
Is cyber espionage a method used by state for intelligence gathering a form of unacceptable cyberattack?
How is cyber espionage as an acceptable state behavior for intelligence gathering though it is a form of unacceptable…
…data. For this study, the researcher will adopt an exploratory approach to qualitative case study to gain a deeper understanding of the acceptability of cyber espionage. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted on a representative sample from a group of professionals within this field and examine existing cases on cyber espionage by China and Russia.
Since this research is a qualitative design, the researcher will first code the data collected to main themes from the interviews. The themes will, thus, lead to a valid conclusion as the themes that will be supported by most respondents will be treated as the general response.
To identify an appropriate representative sample, the researcher will utilize purposive sampling approach. Individuals within the researcher’s professional networks will be contacted and approached to participate in the study based on their knowledge and expertise on the phenomenon being studied. Some of the potential ethical issues that could emerge include privacy of research participants and confidentiality. These issues will be addressed through ensuring that participation is voluntary. P and participants will not be required to provide any personalpersonally identifiable identification iinformation. The respondents will also be given a consent form to sign before the study. Additionally, data obtained from the participants will be utilized for the purposes of this study only.
Data obtained from the interviewees and the publications will be analyzed through thematic analysis. The thematic analysis will entail constant comparison and triangulation of the data to identify emerging themes that answer the research question. While the research design will help to answer the research questions, it is limited in terms of the researcher’s reliance on the two cases and interview data.
Cyber espionage has become a major and complex international problem in today’s world. Even though a proposition for cyber espionage to be viewed as an acceptable state behavior exists, the practice poses significant national security risks and threats. Therefore, it is increasingly important to establish whether or not cyber espionage should be regarded an acceptable…
Agarwal A. & CERT-IN. “Cyber Espionage, Infiltration and Combating Techniques.” Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, 2013. https://www.cert-in.org.in/Downloader?pageid=5&type=2&fileName=CIPS-2013-0128.pdf
Banks, W.C. “Cyber Espionage and Electronic Surveillance: Beyond the Media Coverage.” Emory law Journal 66, (2017).
Georgieva, I. “The Unexpected Norm-Setters: Intelligence Agencies in Cyberspace.” Contemporary Security Policy (2019).
Hjortdal, M. “China’s Use of Cyber Warfare: Espionage Meets Strategic Deterrence.” Journal of Strategic Security 4, no. 2 (2011).
Libicki, M. “The Coming of Cyber Espionage Norms.” 9th International Conference on Cyber Conflict, 2017. https://ccdcoe.org/uploads/2018/10/Art-01-The-Coming-of-Cyber-Espionage-Norms.pdf
National Counterintelligence and Security Center. “Foreign Economic Espionage in Cyberspace.” Office of the Director of National Intelligence, 2018. https://www.dni.gov/files/NCSC/documents/news/20180724-economic-espionage-pub.pdf
Rubenstein, D. “Nation State Cyber Espionage and its Impacts.” Washington University in St. Louis, December 2014. https://www.cse.wustl.edu/~jain/cse571-14/ftp/cyber_espionage/
Weissbrodt, D. “Cyber-Conflict, Cyber-Crime, and Cyber-Espionage.” Minnesota Journal of International Law 22, no. 2 (2013).
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Cyber espionage has become a critical component of modern cyber warfare as nation-states increasingly rely on cyberspace. However, cyber espionage had generated concerns regarding its acceptability given its potential threats to national security. This qualitative case study research explores the proposition that cyber security should be deemed an acceptable state behavior while cyber attack is unacceptable. This study seeks to answer the question, “How is cyber espionage an acceptable
Cyber espionage has become a critical component of modern cyber warfare as nation-states increasingly rely on cyberspace. However, cyber espionage had generated concerns regarding its acceptability given its potential threats to national security. This study explores the proposition that cyber security should be deemed an acceptable state behavior while cyber attack is unacceptable. This study seeks to answer the question, “How is cyber espionage an acceptable state behavior for
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