The Role of Cyber-attacks in 21st Century War

Hanna Samir Kassab


Abstract         Deterrence theory states that world stability can be maintained if the costs of war far out-weigh its benefits. Weapons and strategies that make defense cheaper and offense more costly decrease the likelihood of conflict. Nuclear weapons may have thereby helped create the stability of the Cold War via the costs associated with launching first; according to this argument, war between the US and USSR never occurred because the price of war (i.e. mutual destruction) was too high. This theoretical paper will extend this argument to cyber-attacks and suggest that in order to maintain the security of a nation’s information technology, cyber-defense systems that correspond with Deterrence theory must be introduced. Cyber-attacks can be deterred if the proper system, a virus wall, is in place to counter any infiltration of a nation’s defense systems. This proposed virus wall would be a way to achieve stability from nation state cyber-attacks. Theoretical advancements of International Relations will also be proposed, specifically considering the area of Security Studies.

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