Ene Ergma, an Estonian Member of the Parliament, who happens to be also an astrophysicist, stated the following regarding the 2007 cyber attacks in Estonia:
“When I look at a nuclear explosion and the explosion that happened in our country in May, I see the same thing. Like nuclear radiation, cyberwar doesn’t make you bleed, but it can destroy everything.’
Is it possible then for an analogy to be drawn between cyber and nuclear war?
Scott Shackelford argues in favour, maintaining that ‘the conventions and applicable case law on nuclear warfare are relevant to controlling the scope and tools of information warfare’, adding that ‘some of the effects of nuclear weapons can be similar to a worst-case cyber attack on a state’. He concludes by adding that
‘these regimes together form a useful, if imperfect system that may give recourse until a comprehensive treaty on cyber security is implemented’.
However, his line of thinking presents some holes when put under legal scrutiny. Cyber weapons, if used in moderation do not create the same lethal and utterly catastrophic effects when compared to a nuclear bomb.
Another suggestion that has been put forward is for the cyber weapons to be regulated under the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. Schmitt claims the reason for that is the fact that cyber weapons are not particularly famous for being discriminate as far as their consequences are concerned. However, should his argument be followed, the entirety of computer attacks would be banned, which is not a desired outcome. The ideal scenario would be a regulatory framework, not a complete ban.