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Successful completion of the attribution process is done via a positive identification of the perpetrating actor and infallible determination of that actor’s motivation. If that motivation is deemed to be a cyber-attack, by open acknowledgement of irrefutable proof, we have established that we have an enemy. This enemy is one that is engaged in warfighting activity, targeting us, within the cyber domain. At this point that enemy must be considered as being openly engaged in conflict with our own state. As such, responses to the enemy state’s cyber-attack could be from or within any combination of warfighting domains. It might be appropriate to ignore, sanction, respond in kind, or escalate to something such as a kinetic capability like a missile or bomb. For the purposes of this book, we will not attempt to weigh out appropriate non-cyber responses to cyber-attacks of enemy states. Instead I will outline how a cyber response action could actually be conceived and executed.
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Jacob G. Oakley
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- Chapter 7