Obviously, these attacks are illegal from the point of view of recognized principles of international law, including the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Articles one and two of the Charter provide a framework under which UN member states should interact with each other. Article 2 (4) states: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”
And yet, unfortunately the US in particular has behaved as if there are no standards in the international community regarding such wrongful acts. It has supported “offensive operations” in cyberspace without bothering with their compatibility with international norms. This callous indifference to general rules of international law was seen in the 2010 “Stuxnet” attack against the control system of Iran’s civilian nuclear facilities, which was reportedly authorized by the White House as part of its “covert operations” against Iran.
Attempts to establish global rules relating to cyberattacks – particularly those under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union – have yet to deliver a binding international legal instrument due to diverging views. However, in the absence of an international governance system to manage the Internet and cyberspace, the general rules of international law do apply. States must behave responsibly and respect accepted norms and principles of international law.