Attribution of Cyber Attacks


Thu, 06/06/2019 (All day)


Inntel Hotel Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The conference seeks to explore the viability of the notion of an international attribution mechanism; its possible structure, authority, process, and scope of consideration; and the role that such a mechanism could play in light of the legal framework governing cyber operations. It tests the research hypothesis that a credible attribution process, the findings of which can be publically relied upon, could facilitate the policy option of responding to hostile cyber-operations in a manner that is lawful and politically legitimate. In the same vein, it is arguable that a robust and credible attribution mechanism would also foster accountability in international law and politics for acts and omissions that are inconsistent with States’ legal obligations under the international law governing cyber operations. The conference proceedings, will include the assessment of case studies of past attempts to attribute unlawful cyber operations, comparative review of parallel fields of law in which attribution problems arise and the manner in which attribution is dealt with in them, review of the literature on attribution mechanisms and discussions with policy-makers.  

The three organizers of the conference are Professor Yuval Shany (the Hersch Lauterpacht Chair in Public International Law at Hebrew University), Professor Michael N Schmitt (Chair of Public International Law at Exeter University and general editor of the Tallinn Manuals) and Prof. Paul Ducheine (University of Amsterdam and Netherlands Defense Academy).

Read the Workshop Summary.

Read More About the Research.


June 5th – 21:00-23:00
Cocktail Meeting
at the Inntel Hotel Rotterdam – Waterfront Restaurant

June 6th
09:00 – Gathering and Introduction

09:15-10:30 – Panel I: The Attribution Problem: Legal Dimensions
Ashley Deeks, University of Virginia School of Law – Legal Dimensions of the Cyber Attribution Problem
Discussant: Yael Ronen, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

10:30-10:45 – Coffee Break

10:45-12:00 – Panel II: Lessons Learned From Past Attribution Attempts
Jack Kenny, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem – The Prospects for an International Attribution Mechanism for Cyber Operations: Lessons Learned from Past Attribution Attempts
Jon Ford, FireEye Mandiant – HUman Network Targeting (HUNT): Lessons in Attribution
Liis Vihul, Cyber Law International – How Are Public Attributions of Cyber Operations Shaping the Normative Regime of Cyberspace?

12:00 – Lunch

13:30-14:45 – Panel III: Comparative Attribution Models
Dan Efrony, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem – An International Attribution Mechanism – Is It Required? Is It Practical?
Duncan B. Hollis, Temple University School of Law – Beyond Naming and Shaming: Accusations and International Law in Global Cybersecurity
John Davis, Google – Options for an International Cyber Attribution Organization

14:45-15:15 – Coffee Break

15:15-17:00 – Panel IV: The Road Forward – Concluding Remarks
Michael Schmitt, University of Exeter
Paul Ducheine, University of Amsterdam
Yuval Shany, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

18:00 – Dinner at the Euromast Restaurant (Parkhaven 20, 3016 GM Rotterdam)

Discussants (alphabetically)
Gert Ras, Team High Tech Crime (NLD Police)
Isabella Brunner, Bundeswehr University Munich
Karine Bannelier, Grenoble Alpes University
Marjolein Busstra, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Michael Cohen-Ad, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Nimrod Karin, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Ronald Prins, Member of the TIB, the Kiesraad and Associate member of the Dutch Safety Board.
Steven Hill, Legal Adviser and Director of the Office of Legal Affairs at NATO
Terry Gill, University of Amsterdam
Theodore Christakis, Grenoble Alpes University
Thibault Moulin, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem