Chatham House Report

Project: International Security Department

Paul Cornish, David Livingstone, Dave Clemente and Claire Yorke

This report argues that national strategy must be reviewed and adapted if it is to take proper account of cyber warfare.

The report's key findings include:

  • Cyber warfare can enable actors to achieve their political and strategic goals without the need for armed conflict
  • Cyberspace gives disproportionate power to small and otherwise relatively insignificant actors
  • Operating behind false IP addresses, foreign servers and aliases, attackers can act with almost complete anonymity and relative impunity, at least in the short term
  • In cyberspace the boundaries are blurred between the military and the civilian, and between the physical and the virtual; and power can be exerted by states or non-state actors, or by proxy
  • Cyberspace should be viewed as the 'fifth battlespace', alongside the more traditional arenas of land, air, sea and space. Cyber warfare is best understood as a new but not entirely separate component of this multifaceted conflict environment
  • The transatlantic relationship is important for a variety of reasons where cyber warfare is concerned. Close cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom in intelligence and military matters has extended into cyberspace, enabling both states to influence the domain in a way that is difficult, if not impossible, for any other bilateral partnership or alliance to match.

Project: Cyber and Nuclear Security.