Ukraine cyberattacks may have Geneva convention implications, Microsoft says


Cyberattacks targeting civilians in Ukraine “raise serious concerns under the Geneva Convention,” Microsoft president Brad Smith said in a blog post today.

“We remain especially concerned about recent cyberattacks on Ukrainian civilian digital targets, including the financial sector, agriculture sector, emergency response services, humanitarian aid efforts, and energy sector organizations and enterprises,” Smith wrote. “These attacks on civilian targets raise serious concerns under the Geneva Convention, and we have shared information with the Ukrainian government about each of them.”

As the Geneva Convention aims to protect civilians, “these attacks on civilian digital targets are very closely treading the line if not crossing it,” said Danny Lopez, CEO of cybersecurity vendor Glasswall, in an email to VentureBeat. “By targeting innocent bystanders, particularly emergency response and humanitarian aid organizations, that aren’t prepared to defend their cybersecurity infrastructure against a global power, nation-state attackers may have gone a step too far.”

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