Stateless Attribution: Toward International Accountability in Cyberspace

Stateless Attribution: Toward International Accountability in Cyberspace. RAND Corporation. John S. Davis II et al. June 2, 2017.

The public attribution of a malicious cyber incident consists of identifying the responsible party behind the activity. A cyber attribution finding is a necessary prerequisite for holding actors accountable for malicious activity. Recently, several cyber incidents with geopolitical implications and the attribution findings associated with those incidents have received high-profile press coverage. Many segments of the general public disputed and questioned the credibility of the declared attributions. This report reviews the state of cyber attribution and examines alternative options for producing standardized and transparent attribution that may overcome concerns about credibility. In particular, this exploratory work considers the value of an independent, global organization whose mission consists of investigating and publicly attributing major cyber attacks. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 64 pages, 648.96 KB].

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