Symposium on Cyber Proxies

25 July 2016

Co-Hosted by Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

On 25 July 2016, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) Senior Research Scholar Jason Healey hosted the first Symposium on Cyber Proxies. The twelve-person group, consisting of senior faculty, threat intelligence practitioners, think tank scholars, and military researchers discussed the emergence of cyber proxies as an international norm, and their implications for both law and military practice. Presenting new and unpublished papers on the subject were Tim Maurer (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), and Shawn Lonergan (Columbia University) and Erica Borghard (U.S. Military Academy). Major points of discussion and revelations included the distinction between various illustrations of state and non-state proxy relationships and common alliances, the evolution of these relationships once state political goals have been accomplished, and the motivations of cyber proxy groups to accept or seek out state sponsorship. The symposium wrapped up the conversation with the recent, allegedly-Russian hack on the Democratic National Convention, noting potential implications for proxy norms, as well as for election security.


Published papers:

  • Cyber Proxies and the Crisis in Ukraine (Tim Mauer, 2015) – link
  • Can States Calculate the Risks of Using Cyber Proxies? (Erica D. Borghard and Shawn W. Lonergan, 2016) – link
  • “Pointing the Finger” – National Responsibility for Cyber Conflicts, as part of ‘A Fierce Domain’ (Jason Healey, 2013) – link
  • Beyond Attribution: Seeking National Responsibility for Cyber Attacks (Jason Healey, 2013) – link

Related work from Tim Maurer and Justin Canfil to be published this year.