hack.lu

How Digital Technologies are Redefining Warfare and Why It Matters
10-18, 09:00–09:30 (Europe/Luxembourg), Salle Europe

Cyber capabilities have been used for military purposes for more than two decades. But the digital operational area of States is no longer limited to cyber operations. In line with the global trend toward digitalization of our societies, armed forces around the world are developing innovative strategies to exploit the digital sphere in more complex ways than ever before. As a result of these developments, the line between civilians and combatants as well as between civilian objects and military targets, is in danger of becoming blurred. In particular, it is now easier than ever to involve civilians in military cyber operations and to harm them using these means. And the more the military is relying on cables, satellites or clouds that are originally designed for civilian use, the more likely it becomes that this infrastructure will be exposed to harm during armed conflicts, with significant adverse consequences on civilians.


Cyber capabilities have been used for military purposes for more than two decades. But the digital operational area of States is no longer limited to cyber operations. In line with the global trend toward digitalization of our societies, armed forces around the world are developing innovative strategies to exploit the digital sphere in more complex ways than ever before. As a result of these developments, the line between civilians and combatants as well as between civilian objects and military targets, is in danger of becoming blurred. In particular, it is now easier than ever to involve civilians in military cyber operations and to harm them using these means. And the more the military is relying on cables, satellites or clouds that are originally designed for civilian use, the more likely it becomes that this infrastructure will be exposed to harm during armed conflicts, with significant adverse consequences on civilians.

In 2003 Mauro Vignati started working at the first unit of the Swiss Federal Police fighting cybercrime. Later on, he collaborated to the establishment of MELANI, Switzerland's first centre for public-private partnership on cybersecurity for critical infrastructure. Back in 2013, he set up and led the Cyber Threat Intelligence Division within the Department of Defence in Bern. In 2021, he was tasked to create the Vulnerability Management unit within the National Cyber Security Centre NCSC.ch, established to manage vulnerabilities, and lead several projects testing the security of the government infrastructure. He then joined the International Committee of the Red Cross one year later, as advisor on new digital technologies of warfare.

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