lighting, Diplomacy

Cyber-diplomacy web discussion: Traceability and attribution of cyber-attacks

15 November 2019 -


Event description

DiploFoundation is pleased to invite you to the cyber-diplomacy web discussion: Traceability and attribution of cyber-attacks: Who did it? This webinar is the third in a series of cyber-diplomacy web discussions, organised by DiploFoundation with the support of Microsoft. It follows the discussions Cyber-armament: A heavy impact on peace, economic development, and human rights and Applicability of international law to cyberspace: Do we know the rules of the road? The series will focus on risks for international peace and security stemming from cyberspace, and host a number of distinguished international discussants.

[UPDATE] The recording and the summary of the WebDebate are now available.

As cyberspace increasingly gets (mis)used by states for military purposes, international negotiations on rules of behaviour in cyberspace evolve, in particular within the UN context. DiploFoundation, with the support of Microsoft, is organising a series of cyber-diplomacy web discussions which aim to map trends, introduce challenges, clarify open issues on the negotiation table, outline processes where discussions are happening, and explain how all of us can get involved. 

The cyber-diplomacy web discussion Traceability and attribution of cyber-attacks will look at the different levels of attribution, the collection of evidence, and different methodologies for traceability and attribution.

Friday, 15th November 2019, 13 UTC (14 CET)

Possible issues for discussion include:

How reliable are the different levels of attribution: technical, legal, and political? How is the evidence collected, and how transparent can, or should, this process – and the entire attribution process –  be? What elements should be taken into account for attribution? How can we come up with globally acceptable methodologies for traceability and attribution? What are the advantages and risks of public attribution? What actors are, or should be, involved in the attribution process? Where are these issues discussed, and how can one get involved?

This webinar is the third in a series of cyber-diplomacy web discussions which will consist of four hour-long webinars, running from October to December 2019. Each debate will involve recognised international experts in the field, and a senior fellow of DiploFoundation as the moderator. Thematic focus of the web discussions will be on pertinent issues related to ongoing global negotiations about responsible behaviour in cyberspace: trends and impacts of cyber-armament, applicability of international law to cyberspace, challenges of traceability and attribution of cyber-attack, and perspectives and applicability of norms and confidence building measures. To make the webinars ‘actionable’ and help participants get involved, the webinars will discuss open issues, effects on security, human rights and economic development, and review existing processes and avenues of contributions by various actors.


  • Duncan B. Hollis, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Law at Temple University School of Law
  • Serge Droz, Chair of FIRST, and Senior Advisor at ICT4Peace

Host and moderator

Timeline for the entire series:

For background information about the context, and the open and controversial issues discussed in the main negotiation tracks – the UN Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security (UN GGE) and the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) – visit the dedicated GIP Digital Watch page.