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Inside the Enemy's ComputerIdentifying Cyber Attackers$
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Clement Guitton

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190699994

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190699994.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 September 2021

Reliance on Judgement

Reliance on Judgement

(p.65) 2 Reliance on Judgement
Inside the Enemy's Computer

Clement Guitton

Oxford University Press

What constitutes an authoritative judgment for attribution? Is that the same thing as a sound and universally true judgment? Furthermore, what are the political implications of acknowledging that attribution relies on judgment? Taking account of political judgment brings an important contribution to the debate on attribution by displacing the usual focus on technical constraints to a focus on political ones. It transpires that political judgment for attribution is neither good nor bad; it is fallible but inescapable. Attribution is a process that constantly evolves and is never perfect, due to its inherent reliance on judgment. This reliance on judgment in order to attribute cases threatening national security explains a useful trend: attribution is always possible, but with differing degrees depending on the authority and trust conferred on the entity expressing the judgment. In fact, though, the veracity of the judgment expressed is only secondary to its authoritative value: the role of attribution is primarily to convince an audience that its consequences were called for. Technical forensic evidence for attribution is therefore important; but so is the extent to which the public will be convinced of the guilt of the alleged instigator.

Keywords:   Atrribution, Political judgment, National security, Authority

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