Attack Attribution with John Davis


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When a cyber attack occurs, how do we identify who committed it? There is no straightforward answer to that question.

Even if we know Chinese hackers have infiltrated our power grid with logic bombs, we might not be able to say with certainty whether those hackers were state actors or rogue Chinese hackers looking for an offensive asset to sell to their government.

Even if we know someone in Russia launched an attack on the banking system in Ukraine, we might not know whether that attack came from the government or from aggressive non-governmental forces.

Accurate cyberattack attribution is key to preventing diplomatic mistakes in the modern battleground of the Internet.

Today’s guest John Davis is one of the authors of the report called “Stateless Attribution: Toward International Accountability in Cyberspace”.

John is a senior information scientist with RAND Corporation, a non-profit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. This report was commissioned by Microsoft, and it provides a deep assessment of our current ability to attribute a cyberattack to the perpetrator of that attack.

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