Study Document

Cyber Espionage Research Paper

Pages:6 (1662 words)

Sources:8

Subject:Crime

Topic:Cyber Espionage

Document Type:Research Paper

Document:#11946972


Abstract

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.

Introduction

Cyberspace has become an important element is 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 with the permission of the owner/possessor of the information.[footnoteRef:2] While it is a form of cyberattack, there is a proposition 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]

Background Information

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…

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…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.

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 participation is voluntary and participants will not be required to provide any personal identification information. 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.

Conclusion

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 state behavior while cyberattack is unacceptable.…


Sample Source(s) Used

Bibliography

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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