From Nuclear Deterrence to Cyber Deterrence

in , on March 8, 2023

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This PowerPoint presentation familiarizes students with cyber weapons including malware, botnets, and DDoS attacks. It describes possible targets and vectors of cyber attacks, and introduces students to debates about how best to understand the nature of cyber threats. Using the example of Russian-backed cyber attacks on Estonia as a case study, it discusses what analogies best describe this new realm of international interaction. Are cyber attacks better understood through the lens of nuclear deterrence? Or are analogies to the biological domain more appropriate? The lecture explores similarities across domains and common objections to the analogy between nuclear and cyber weapons.

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Learning Objectives
  • Distinguish between different types of cyber weapons/attacks
  • Describe the analogy between nuclear and cyber weapons
  • Be able to come up with an informed opinion about how useful nuclear analogy is
  • Provide more accurate analogies to cyber threats

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