The Politics of Publicly Attributing Cyber Incidents

An increasing number of states have published information regarding cyber operations discovered on networks within their jurisdiction. Little research has been published analysing what might motivate and explain such behaviour. Understanding why states chose to publish sensitive details is important, as practices of strategic interaction in cybersecurity are only just emerging into public view. This talk will offer a rough account of the identified practices in selected cases and offer first possible explanations on what the respective strategic communities may have wanted to achieve when releasing such information. Particularly, that state investment into attribution capabilities (both on the intelligence and policy side) has changed the strategic context, the result of which we are now seeing. Focusing on a controversial topic, this talk will contribute towards a more comprehensive understanding of what public attribution is used for at the state level.

Florian Egloff is a Senior Researcher in Cybersecurity with the Centre for Security Studies at the ETH Zurich (Switzerland). His research focuses on the politics of cyber security, particularly with regard to intelligence policy, and the role of non- and semi-state actors in cyber security. Florian’s current projects focus on the politics of public attribution and the use of cyber intrusions for political purposes. Prior to working at ETH Zurich, Florian wrote his DPhil in Cyber Security at the University of Oxford on the topic of ‘Cybersecurity and Non-State Actors: A Historical Analogy to Mercantile Companies, Privateers, and Pirates’(for a short example, see here). Florian is also a Research Associate at the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs and teaches at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security (both at the University of Oxford).


All are welcome. Lunch will be provided at 12.15pm.

Places are limited. To book a seat, please register on Eventbrite.