Cyber Mercenaries explores the secretive relationships between states and hackers. As cyberspace has emerged as the new frontier for geopolitics, states have become entrepreneurial in their sponsorship, deployment, and exploitation of hackers as proxies to project power. Such modern-day mercenaries and privateers can impose significant harm undermining global security, stability, and human rights. These state-hacker relationships therefore raise important questions about the control, authority, and use of offensive cyber capabilities. While different countries pursue different models for their proxy relationships, they face the common challenge of balancing the benefits of these relationships with their costs and the potential risks of escalation. This book examines case studies in the United States, Iran, Syria, Russia, and China for the purpose of establishing a framework to better understand and manage the impact and risks of cyber proxies on global politics.
Table of Contents
Part I. Of Brokers and Proxies: 1. Cyber proxies: an introduction; 2. Proxies: an instrument of power since ancient times; 3. Cyber power: geopolitics and human rights; Part II. Cyber Proxies Up Close: 4. Cyber proxies on a tight leash: the United States; 5. Cyber proxies on a loose leash: Iran and Syria; 6. Cyber proxies on the loose: the former Soviet Union; 7. Change over time: China's evolving relationships with cyber proxies; Part III. Implications: 8. The theory: state responsibility and cyber proxies; 9. The practice: shaping cyber proxy relationships; 10. Conclusion: cyber proxies, the future, and suggestions for further research; Future research; Notes.