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Escalation All the Way Down?

Exploring the Evolving Nature of Cyber Conflicts

2nd part of our digital dicussion series "Cyberwarfare - Cyberpeacebuilding: On a Search for a Cooperative Security Architecture Cyberspace"



Are we moving in the digital domain steadily towards escalation? Is a cyber armament race inevitable and already unfolding? In recent years, more and more states have launched military cyber activities. It is estimated that about 140 military cyber programs operate today around the world. While these indicators point towards a growing intensity of cyber conflicts, it is important to note that the behavioral pattern in cyberspace is nevertheless marked by a relatively high degree of variety. For example, the nature of military cyber programs differs largely between offensive and defensive agendas. Moreover, the key players in the field seem to follow different goals, strategies, and tactics when it comes to cyber conflicts. The purpose of this session is to elaborate on the changing nature of cyber conflicts and the behavioral patterns show be key players of the digital domain.



Montag, 03.05.2021
16:00 Uhr
Escalation All the Way Down? – Exploring the Evolving Nature of Cyber Conflicts

Wyatt HOFFMAN, Research Fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), Washington D.C.

Monica KAMINSKA, Postdoctoral Researcher, The Hague Program for Cyber Norms at Leiden University – Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Leiden

Matthias SCHULZE, Deputy Head, International Security Research Division, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Berlin

17:45 Uhr
End of Discussion


Wyatt Hoffman
Wyatt Hoffman is a Research Fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), where he works on the CyberAI Project. Previously, he was a senior research analyst with the Cyber Policy Initiative at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where his work focused on cyber strategy, the role of the private sector in cybersecurity and the intersection of nuclear weapons and cybersecurity. Wyatt holds an M.A. in War Studies from King’s College London, where he was a Rotary Global Grant Scholar in Peace and Conflict Prevention and Resolution. He earned a B.A. in political science from Truman State University.
Monica Kaminska
Monica Kaminska is a postdoctoral researcher at The Hague Program for Cyber Norms at Leiden University – Institute of Security and Global Affairs and a PhD Candidate in Cyber Security at the University of Oxford. She is also a trustee of the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative (ECCRI) and has held research positions at the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs and the Computational Propaganda Project, both at the University of Oxford. Monica’s research examines international cyber conflict, particularly states’ responses to hostile cyber operations.
Dr. Matthias Schulze
Dr. Matthias Schulze is the deputy head at the security division of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs – SWP, and the co-coordinator of the cyber-research cluster. His research covers numerous topics within the field of international cyber-security. He started to focus on the dark side of digitalization in 2010, with interests such as the strategic use of cyber-capabilities in international relations, cyber-conflicts, cyber-espionage, information operations, and cyber-crime. Regionally, he is particularly interested in how key cyber-powers such as the USA, EU, Russia, China, and North Korea operate in the cyber-domain. He also works on numerous domestic policy-related topics such as encryption, vulnerability disclosure, government hacking, and lawful access. He participates in the theoretical debate, for example on cyber-deterrence and cyber-norms of responsible state behavior and cyber-arms control. He has participated in various national and international discussions, working groups, and track 1.5 dialogues on cyber-security. He regularly gives talks for relevant cyber-security stakeholders and hosts the percepticon.de Podcast on these issues. He authored numerous research papers, and commentaries and has been featured in the international media, including The Economist, Deutsche Welle, and German newspapers such as der Spiegel. Previously, he worked for five years at Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany as a lecturer and research assistant in international relations. There he gave numerous courses on cyber-security in international relations in general. In 2015 he was a visiting research scholar at Citizen Lab in Canada. He holds a Ph.D. with magna cum laude from the Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena. His thesis analyzed how the Internet evolved from a cyber-utopia into a cyber-war dystopia. He also holds a Magister Degree in political science, sociology, and philosophy from the University in Jena.