Protective Emblems in Cyber Warfare

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Security Research Institute


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


ECU Security Research Institute




This article was originally published as: Sutherland, I. , Xynos, K., Jones, A. , & Blyth, A. (2012). Protective Emblems in Cyber Warfare. Proceedings of 13th Australian Information Warfare Conference. (pp. 10-16). Western Australia. Perth, Australia. Security Research Institute.


The Tallinn Manual will be released in February 2013 and makes a significant step towards defining the concepts of cyber warfare. The early draft of the manual is available and the expert working party have interpreted the existing international agreements, instruments and conventions and applied them to the field of cyber warfare. The manual makes a number of interpretations on the legal position of civilians and other parties. The manual makes it clear that the existing conventions are applicable and that civilian / religious and medical systems should be viewed as non-combatants in a cyber conflict. In the kinetic warfare environment non-combatants are indicated with recognized international symbols such as the Red Cross, Red Diamond and the Red Crescent emblems. This paper proposes a simple method in which these and other symbols for protected sites could be replicated in the cyber world with a form of digital marker to ensure that systems and traffic are recognized as being clearly protected under the same terms as those that apply to the Geneva Conventions.

Access Rights

Article freely accessible. ECU Security conference