Friday, 06 December, 2019

NATO researchers call Stuxnet attack on Iran illegal

A group of NATO researchers agreed that the 2009 Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities constituted “an act of force,” noting that the cyberattack has probably been a violation of international law.

While that accusations against U.S. and Israel have never been confirmed by either government, a NATO Commission has now confirmed it as an “act of force.”

“Acts that kill or injure persons or destroy or damage objects are unambiguously uses of force,” according to “The Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare.”

Acts of force are prohibited under the United Nations charter, except when done in self-defense, said Michael Schmitt, professor of international law at the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island and lead author of the study.
According to the UN Charter, the use of force is allowed only with the approval of the United Nations Security Council in self-defense and in response to attack by another country.

Schmitt said the 20-member group of researchers who wrote the manual all agreed that the use of Stuxnet virus, that attacked Iran’s cyber structures in 2009, was an act of force.

 

Washington and Tel Aviv are believed to have jointly developed the malware, although neither has accepted responsibility for the attack. Iran has been the target of several cyber attacks over the past few years.

 

Stuxnet was launched in 2009 and 2010, and possibly 2008 as well, and targeted cascades and centrifuges at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in Iran.

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