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The ever-finer line between cyberwar and shooting wars

International law seen supporting armed response to electronic use of force

The Estonia-based NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence organizes the international Locked Shields cyberdefense exercise.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The ransomware attack that briefly shut down a major U.S. pipeline underscores the reality that what happens in cyberspace no longer necessarily stays there.

And as geopolitical tensions mount and countries focus more attention on cyber operations, the risk of an electronic attack escalating into real-world conflict -- and questions about connections to international law -- cannot be ignored.

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