State Department Legal Adviser Harold Koh said since cyberattacks are subject to international law, they are a justifiable cause for war, Fierce Government IT reports.
Koh added that since it is clear that international law applies to cyberspace, new treaties for cybersecurity aren’t necessary.
Speaking at an event hosted by the Cyber Command, Koh said applying existing law to cyberspace requires “a careful, fact-intensive legal analysis in each situation.”
The legal advisor added that although state-sponsored cyberattacks are subject to international law, attacks by hacktivists pose a more difficult situation.
Koh also defined cyber use of force as a “cyber activity resulting in proximate death, injury, or significant destruction.”
NATO recently announced that international law includes cyber operations.