Cyberterrorism and Self-Defense in the Framework of International Law




cyberterrorism, international law, self-defense


Objective: The problem of international electronic terrorism has spread rapidly and affecting nations adversely. However, International Law continues to view the crimes of international terrorism through the Internet and global cyberattacks as ordinary conventional crimes. This perception created an international legal vacuum. Hence, the existence of this legal vacuum in international law to criminalize these acts, which harm the security and sovereignty of states and affect global peace and security, needs to be addressed. Specifically, the study is aimed at answering the following questions: In the event of armed Cyberterrorism, does International law justifies legitimate self-defense? What are the lacunas Regarding Cyberterrorism in International law?


Methods: This study used an empirical approach. An analysis is made in determining whether cyberattacks may be regarded as an armed assault legitimizing the victim states' right to self-defense. Relevant legal text and resources were pulled together to achieve the aim of this research. Hence, a qualitative descriptive analysis of related legal texts and other relevant documents has been conducted.


Results:The research finds that cyberattack is similar to terrorist attack but the medium of the attack is carried out in cyber is on the computer via the internet while the conventional terrorist attack is physically carried out between or among terrorist members and government troops. However, in the cyberattack, the attacker and his location are not known. The international community has not been able to incorporate cyberattack law into International law because there is no consensus from member states on cyberattacks. Shortly, a coordinated cyberattack carried out through the Internet could cause catastrophic destruction to nations that depend on the Internet, particularly in crucial target areas such as transportation, power supply, and telecommunication infrastructures. Consequently, it has been pointed out that cyber warfare operations can fall under the scope of the international crime of aggression.


Conclusion: An existing legal literature on cyberspace terrorism is exposing a conundrum. There are possible avenues for international legal action relating to terrorism. Still, because these attacks have not occurred, states lack opportunities to improve the impact that international law can make proactively. Options, especially enhancing cybersecurity in critical infrastructure, have appeal because they are strategies against cyber intrusions that are 'all hazards.' By comparison, there is a lack of reliable solutions for foreign legal activities related to the terrorist use of the Internet and social media. At the same time, this issue has become a concern, and there are opportunities for governments, businesses, and civil societies to mitigate it. This challenging background, which shows no signs of fading, may increase interest in integrating offensive cyberattacks into counter-cyber-facilitated terrorism strategies.


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How to Cite

Alkharman, J. A., & Hassan, I. (2023). Cyberterrorism and Self-Defense in the Framework of International Law. Journal of Law and Sustainable Development, 11(8), e1430.