The Geneva Conventions in Cyberspace: An Authentic Digital Emblem

Thu 01Jun2023

Mauro Vignati, ICRC & Felix Linker, ETH Zürich

From 11:00 until 12:30

At CAB H 52 (Seminar) + CNB/F/110 (Lunch) , ETH Zurich

CAB H 52 (Seminar) + CNB/F/110 (Lunch), ETH Zurich


In times of armed conflict, the emblems of the red cross, red crescent, and red crystal are used to mark physical infrastructure. This enables military units to identify assets as protected under international humanitarian law to avoid attacks on them. In this talk, we present how we extend such protection to digital, network-connected infrastructure through a digital emblem that we call ADEM. A digital emblem has a unique combination of security requirements, namely, authentication, accountability, and a property that we call covert inspection. Covert inspection requires that those wishing to authenticate assets as protected must be able to do so without revealing that they may attack unprotected entities.

In this talk, we present the security requirements of a digital emblem, present ADEM itself, a decentralized design that implements a digital emblem analogous to the physical emblems of the red cross, crescent, and crystal, and explain how ADEM achieves strong security guarantees against an active network adversary.

Join us in CAB H 52 (Seminar) + CNB/F/110 (Lunch).

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