About the project
The Cyber Law Toolkit is a dynamic interactive web-based resource for legal professionals who work with matters at the intersection of international law and cyber operations. The Toolkit may be explored and utilized in a number of different ways. At its core, it presently consists of 28 hypothetical scenarios. Each scenario contains a description of cyber incidents inspired by real-world examples, accompanied by detailed legal analysis. The aim of the analysis is to examine the applicability of international law to the scenarios and the issues they raise. You can see all scenarios in the box immediately below – just click on any of them to follow the relevant analysis. In addition, you may want to explore the Toolkit by looking for keywords you’re interested in; by viewing its overall article structure; by browsing through the national positions on international law in cyberspace; or by reading about individual real-world examples that serve as the basis of the Toolkit scenarios. Finally, you may want to use the search function in the top right corner of this page to look for specific words across all of the Toolkit content.
Cyber law scenarios
In September 2020, the German University Hospital in Düsseldorf was forced to reduce healthcare service due to a ransomware attack that crippled its systems. The attackers managed to compromise 30 clinic’s servers, reducing its capacity by fifty per cent for several days. This ransomware campaign with links to Russian groups is known worldwide because a woman has died when taken into a distant hospital that could accept her, even though her death was later not concluded as a result of the attack. The attack was most likely a mistake since the perpetrators left a note in a code addressed to Heinrich Heine University. Once the hackers were informed about their misstep, they stopped and provided the hospital with the encryption key without any ransom demands before cutting the communication. Even though no data has been lost, this ransomware campaign once again showed how the healthcare sector is vulnerable to cyber attacks.
In the Toolkit, Scenario 20 focuses directly on cyber operations against medical facilities. Given that the hospital suffered a ransomware attack, Scenario 14 exploring the ransomware campaign is also relevant.
Behind the scenes
The project is supported by the following six partner institutions: the Czech National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NÚKIB), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), the University of Exeter, United Kingdom, the U.S. Naval War College, United States, and Wuhan University, China. The core of the project team consists of Dr Kubo Mačák (ICRC) – General Editor; Mr Tomáš Minárik (NÚKIB) – Managing Editor; and Ms Taťána Jančárková (CCDCOE) – Scenario Editor. The individual scenarios and the Toolkit as such have been reviewed by a team of over 30 peer reviewers. The Toolkit was formally launched on 28 May 2019 in Tallinn, Estonia; its Chinese launch took place on 2 November 2019 in Wuhan, China; it received its most recent general annual update on 20 October 2022; and it remains continuously updated. For questions about the project including media enquiries, please contact us at email@example.com.