Cyber Weapons: a Profiling Framework

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


In the last decades we witnessed the creation of a virtual world: cyberspace, which offers plenty of opportunities and challenges. Meanwhile, we are confronted with many conflict situations between different groups of people or countries. In the last years, several events have been described in terms of cyber warfare or the use of cyber weapons, leading to critical international security concerns. At the same time, there is little research on the definitions of what constitutes a cyber weapon and how it can be profiled.The present article gives an answer to the question “How to define cyber weapons?” and proposes a conceptual framework that defines and profiles cyber weapons from a multidisciplinary perspective: cyber and military, considering legal aspects as well. This framework establishes the context of use and the life cycle of cyber weapons, defines them, presents their structure and proposes a way to profile them. The aim of this article is to support decision makers and academia that have to deal with the implications and consequences of cyber weapons. Therefore, to evaluate our framework, we propose a profiling matrix for Stuxnet, Operation Orchard and Black Energy and we conduct an exploratory case study on Stuxnet based on the existing literature
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of International conference on cyber conflict
Subtitle of host publicationProtecting the future
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventInternational Conference on Cyber Conflict US - Washington, United States
Duration: 21 Oct 201623 Oct 2016


ConferenceInternational Conference on Cyber Conflict US
Abbreviated titleCyCon US 2016
CountryUnited States


  • cyberspace
  • cyber weapon
  • caber warfare
  • Impact


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