Security experts have called for 'rules of engagement' in cyber space, and more clarity around what constitutes cyber war, in order to better deal with attacks from hostile nations, according to Newsnight.
The BBC programme reported that proposals from the EastWest Institute in New York will be presented to world leaders, including prime minister David Cameron, at the annual Munich Security Conference today.
The proposals recommend an update to the Geneva and Hague conventions to take account of the new frontier of cyber space, and argue that a lack of definition around what actually constitutes cyber war is hindering progress on creating international policy to deal with it.
The report highlighted the problems of differentiating between military and civilian targets in cyber space, and called for certain key domain names to be more heavily secured.
Government sources told Newsnight that, although they do not see a need for treaties on cyber war, more work needs to be done on trying to attribute attacks.
"How strongly should a state respond to an attack when you do not know who did it, where they did it from or what the intention was?" they said.
"In conventional military terms these questions are easier to answer. Not so in the cyber world."
John Bumgarner, research director for security technology at the US Cyber Consequences Unit, warned that there are "things out there" which many people are unaware of because they are designed with stealth in mind.
"Those things have been in existence for years to do things like turn off the power grid, disrupt water systems, disrupt manufacturing processes," he said. " The attackers are constantly developing new strategies."
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