The Role Of Intelligence Agencies In Public Attribution Of Offensive Cyber Operations



Date and Time

January 25, 2022 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


RSVP Required.


Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to William J Perry Conference Room in Encina Hall may attend in person. 

For winter quarter 2022, CISAC will be hosting hybrid events. Many events will offer limited-capacity in-person attendance for Stanford faculty, staff, fellows, visiting scholars, and students in accordance with Stanford’s health and safety guidelines, and be open to the public online via Zoom. All CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone. 


(Stanford faculty, visiting scholars, staff, fellows, and students only)



About the Event: Cyber operations have been traditionally considered covert actions, with incentives for both attacker and victim to remain silent and conceal the attack. Attribution is often a technically complex process that requires extensive work on the part of intelligence agencies. Although their work usually takes place ‘behind the scenes’, recent cases show intelligence agencies are playing an increasingly visible role in the public attribution processes.

With cyberattacks and intrusions becoming an integral component of both warfare and diplomacy, attribution – and its mechanisms and consequences – also play a growing role. Governments are increasingly required to balance expectations, credibility and transparency of high-stake attribution processes with the need to minimize exposure of their intelligence agencies and technological capabilities.

Combining original data on intelligence agencies’ involvement in public attribution cases and an in-depth analysis of the SolarWinds hack as a case-study, this research offers a broader understanding of the emerging changes in the role of intelligence agencies in the cyber domain, including its more public components. The implications of this research will serve scholars, practitioners and decision-makers in the fields of cyber warfare, intelligence, international relations, and beyond.


About the Speaker: Dr. Gil Baram is a cybersecurity post-doctoral fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). She received her Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University’s School of Political Science, Government and International Relations, and was the recipient of the Fulbright postdoctoral fellowship. Her postdoctoral research at CISAC focuses on national decision-making during cyber conflict.

Previously, Dr. Baram has held fellow positions with the Centre of Excellence for National Security at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and served as Head of Research at the Israeli think tank Yuval Ne'eman workshop for Science, Technology and Security.