This article presents an overview of cyberwar from an international law perspective, in particular from the framework of the laws of war. It discusses some of the difficulties in applying these laws to cyberattacks, further complicated by the characteristics of the Internet. A distinction is made between cyberwar, -crime, -espionage and -terrorism, and the different fields of law that apply to these distinct ‘cyberevents’. Next to discussing several historic cyberattacks, the question is raised whether cyberwar is merely a hype or whether we should be taking this threat seriously. Rather than answering this question, the authors feel that the actual threat posed by ‘cyber’ is less important than the political and military prominence gained by this phenomenon in these past few years. The authors conclude by stating that a lot of work has yet to be done to address the issues raised by the occurrence of cyberwar.
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