Skip to main content

The Toolkit is available free of charge at:

International cyber law project co-led by Exeter receives general update

On 2 October 2020, the Cyber Law Toolkit, a leading interactive web-based resource for legal professionals working on international law and cyber operations, received its annual update. The Toolkit has expanded by adding new scenarios that provide independent legal analysis of novel questions raised by the hostile uses of information and communications technologies.

The Toolkit is organised around fictitious scenarios, so people can see how the law would be applied to situations resembling, for example, the 2017 WannaCry incident or the 2020 SamSam ransomware attacks. This week, five newly developed scenarios were added to the Toolkit, bringing the total number to 19.

The new scenarios, for example, explore the constraints that international law places on co-ordinated responses to hostile cyber operations (collective countermeasures), analyse the lawfulness of various forms of cyber deception during armed conflict, and consider whether stoking of racial and religious hatred online may violate international law.

Dr Kubo Mačák, who leads the project, said: “The Toolkit helps legal practitioners from governments and militaries around the world keep up with international law as it applies to cyber operations. Our ambition is to support decision-making by allowing users to easily access real-life scenarios and up-to-date analysis by academics in the area.”

The project team has simultaneously issued a call for submissions for new scenarios to be included in the next general update in September 2021. This call for submissions is open until 15 November 2020. Full text of the call with more details is available for download here.

Professor Hitoshi Nasu, who serves as an advisory board member of the project, added: “It is important to keep pace with recent developments in the cyber security domain. The Toolkit is updated regularly on the basis of internal research and through external submissions, so it remains relevant for both practitioners and scholars working in the field.”

Besides the scenarios, the Toolkit website also contains overview tables for leading publicly known cyber incidents that have served as inspiration for some of the analysis and it offers the possibility to search its nearly 300 pages by keywords such as attribution, self-defence, or weapons review.

The project is currently supported by the following partner institutions: Czech National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NÚKIB); International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE); University of Exeter; and Wuhan University.

The Toolkit is available free of charge at:
Contact the project team at

Date: 7 October 2020