International Security Index iSi




“We have only two arms control treaties left, and I hope that the New START will be extended. What would an arms control regime look like after the New START expires? It is necessary to impose limitations upon the missile defense system because, following the American logic during the 60s, ABM turns to be a weapon of a potential aggressor. It is useless and impossible to include everything in one treaty, but the restrictions on offensive and defensive arms, including space-based ones will have to be the key elements of a future arms control architecture,” – Gen. Evgeny Buzhinskiy, Chairman of the PIR Center Executive Board.


“He travelled, he studied, he taught.” It is in this order, as Nabokov wrote, that I would love to set priorities in my life. I have been to 70 countries. Is that many or few? Very, very few! By telling the story of the Russian Hawaii, I am getting ready for new travels. I cannot help but feel passion for changing places,” – Vladimir Orlov, Founder of PIR Center.


“More education and training opportunities should be established to empower women and young people to be a force for change and disarmament and there must be better engagement and integration of experts, industry and civil society representatives into United Nations efforts for disarmament,” — Report of the UN Secretary-General on the work of the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters.

Security in Cyber Space

(2 credits)

The course program developed by Dr. Elena Chernenko, Member of the PIR Center’s Executive Board.

The course instructors: Dr. Elena Chernenko, Mr. Oleg Demidov. Ms. Alexandra Kulikova


1.1      The place and role of the course in the program of study:


Information and telecommunication technologies (ICT) have become one of the most ubiquitous, fundamental, and genuinely global technologies that define the dynamics of the development of the global economy and international security.


Technologically advanced countries have developed a comprehensive financial and infrastructural capability and expertise to use ICT for military-political purposes. In view of the evolution of malicious software; growing threats to critical infrastructure; increasing dependence of all the key sectors or the global and national economy, governance, and security on ICT it is safe to say that in the developed countries, the potential to achieve the goals of the conflict using ICT is approaching the potential of kinetic weapons and even WMD.


WMD nonproliferation, prospects of arms control and nuclear safety and security themselves are influenced by development of ICT technologies and opportunities for military use of cyber space.


The course “Security Issues in Cyber Space” aims at providing knowledge on influence of ICT and military use of cyber space on nonproliferation, arms control, disarmament and nuclear security.


The course will provide knowledge on ICT and cyber space, which is important for future experts on WMD nonproliferation. The course reveals and considers new aspects of international and political context of disarmament, arms control, nonproliferation and nuclear security.


The course will examine such dimensions of the interrelation between cyber security issues and nonproliferation as:


  • Implications of the ICT developments for nonproliferation, disarmament, arms control and nuclear security;
  • ICT and cyber space impact on future of deterrence, strategic stability, strategic relations and global security;
  • Possibilities and limitations for use of nonproliferation and arms control experience for development of international regulation of cyber space and its use in military purposes;
  • Cyber security of nuclear and other critical infrastructure.




The course goals and objectives:


The main goal of the course is to provide students with basic knowledge on the elements of ICT and cyber space development, which have an impact on global security, prospects of arms control and disarmament, create new opportunities and risks for nonproliferation and nuclear security. Among the practical tasks is to raise awareness among students of the importance of information and computer security as a fundamental part of the overall security of nuclear facilities.


Course objectives:

  1. To introduce basic definitions, concepts, history current state and infrastructure of ICT and military use of cyber space in the context of global security and impact of ICT on future of strategic relations and nuclear security.
  2. To orient students to understand the relationship between use of cyber space and nonproliferation aspects of global security.
  3. To provide students with methodology of analysis of the cyber risks to nuclear security and global security, arising from use of cyber technologies and use of cyber space.  


1.2      Learning outcomes:

Classes are generally held to provide knowledge and methodology for further analysis and discussion on the matter of the course.

Teaching methods used include lectures, consultations, seminars, debate, discussions and students’ seminar presentations.

By the end of this course students should be able to:

  1. Understand interrelations between development of cyber technologies and strategic and nuclear sphere.
  2. Analyze keys vulnerabilities and risks of nuclear security, arms control and disarmament process, connected with growing access to cyber technologies.
  3. Correlate advantages and risks of use of cyber technologies for nuclear sphere.
  4. Analyze and compare international bilateral and multilateral initiatives and programs on peaceful and military use of ICT.
  5. Assess the efficiencies and deficiencies of the existing political and legal frameworks on ICT regulation and nuclear security.
  6. Search information and literature on cyber and nuclear issues, distinguish between authoritative and unreliable sources on these issues.


Course requirements:

Students will be required to attend not less than 90% of classes and to be prepared for class discussions. Conscientious reading of the assigned materials is compulsory. Students will also be required to participate in seminar discussions and to present written test.

Presentations (requirements):

1.3      Grading plan:

To get «А» (“excellent”) student should get 90 points, to get “pass”60 points.




Class participation (8 classes*2 points)






Final Test (36 questions*1,5 points)






November 13, Monday. 17.35-19.05

Lecture 1. Introduction to the course: the subject, the course goals and objectives. Key concepts and terms. Cyber space and ICT. Use of ICT in military purposes. Cyber space as a new space of security and nonproliferation. 

Dr. Elena Chernenko

Summary: The lecture will cover aspects of cyber security as a new topic in international relations studies. The lecturer will give an overview of key approaches to cyber security among the most important international players, outline terminology differences and main points of conflict.


Essential Readings

* Dr. Elena Chernenko “Cold War 2.0?”, Russia in Global Affairs, 15 April 2013

* Suggestions on Russia-U.S. Cooperation in Cybersecurity, May 2017,  by the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and the EastWest Institute (EWI)

* 2015 DOD Cyber Strategy

* Концептуальные взгляды на деятельность Вооруженных Сил Российской Федерации в информационном пространстве/CONCEPTUAL VIEWS ON THE ACTIVITIES OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION IN INFORMATION SPACE

General Readings

* On Cyber Warfare, Chatham House Report

* Greg Austin, Franz-Stefan Gady, “Russia, the United States and Cyber Diplomacy: Opening the Doors”

* A cyber revolt in the making. Valdai paper, Julien Nocetti, Elena Chernenko,


Snowden (2016)

Zero Days (2016)

Who am I (2014)


November 13, Monday. 19.15-20.45

Lecture 2.1. Rules, behavior and confidence-building measures in cyber space. Are nonproliferation and arms control experience relevant for cyber space?

Dr. Elena Chernenko

Summary: The lecturer will give an overview of the current proposals of the creation of norms of responsible behavior of states in cyber space and outline the main differences between global players that prevent them from adopting such regulation as it was the case with nonproliferation.

Essential Readings

* Report of the Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security

* UN GGE on Cybersecurity: The End of an Era?, The Diplomat

* Thomas Remington, Chris Spirito, Elena Chernenko, Oleg Demidov, and Vitaly Kabernik «Toward U.S.-Russia Bilateral Cooperation in the Sphere of Cybersecurity»

* The need for a Digital Geneva Convention. Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer Microsoft

General Readings

* Henry Farrell, «The political science of cybersecurity III – How international relations theory shapes U.S. cybersecurity doctrine»

* Олег Демидов, Елена Черненко «Игра про правила», Россия в глобальной политике,  24 августа 2015

* Олег Демидов, Елена Черненко, «Грозный ум на страже кибербезопасности», Индекс безопасности №3 (110), том20

* Sonya Sceats, “China’s Cyber Diplomacy: A Taste of Law to Come?”

* The UN GGE Failed. Is International Law in Cyberspace Doomed As Well?


November 20, Monday. 17.35-19.05

Lecture 2.2. Infrastructure of cyber space and military use of cyber space.

Oleg Demidov


Essential Readings


* Deterrence and Dissuasion in Cyberspace, Joseph S. Nye Jr., 2017

* The Role of the U.S. Military in Cyberspace, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Friday, October 9, 2015


General Readings


* Cyber Infrastructure: The Forgotten Vulnerability. A Monograph by MAJ Michael R. Wacker, United States Army. School of Advanced Military Studies, United States Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 2014-01 

* FM 3-12, Cyberspace and Electronic Warfare Operations, Headquarters

Department of the Army, Washington, DC, 11 April 2017

* The Military Role in National Cybersecurity Governance, Ian Wallace, Brookings

* Проблемы классификации кибероружия, В.В. Каберник, журнал «Воздушно-космическая оборона»

* Война в киберпространстве: уроки и выводы для России, Круглый стол в редакции "Независимого военного обозрения", 13.12.2013  

* Strategic Cyberwar Theory - A Foundation for Designing Decisive Strategic Cyber Operations, Jan Kallberg, Spring April 15, 2016


Web resources


* Cyber Security Strategy Documents, CCD COE

* National Cyber Security Strategies (NCSSs) Map, ENISA

November 20, Monday. 19.15-20.45

Seminar 2.2. Cyber space and cyber technologies in national military doctrines and programs. National cyber and military capabilities.

Oleg Demidov



Essential Readings


* Tallinn Paper: The Role of Offensive Cyber Operations in NATO's Collective Defence, CCD COE




* Offense-defense theory analysis of Russian cyber capability, Medvedev, Sergei A., 2015-03

* Cyberwarfare and Russian Style of Cyber Defense, Oleg Demidov, Security Index: A Russian Journal on International Security, Volume 19, 2013 - Issue 3

* Moscow's cyber-defense. How the Russian government plans to protect the country from the coming cyberwar, Meduza, 19 July 2017

* Strategic Cyberspace Operations Guide, United States Army War College, 1 June 2016

* Joint Publication 3-12 (R) Cyberspace Operations, 5 February 2013

* Stocktaking study of military cyber defence capabilities in the European Union (milCyberCAP). Unclassified Summary by Neil Robinson, Agnieszka Walczak, Sophie-Charlotte Brune, Alain Esterle, Pablo Rodriguez, 2013, RAND Corporation

* A cyber SIOP? Operational considerations for strategic offensive cyber planning, Austin Long, Columbia University, December 2016


Web resources


* Who are the cyberwar superpowers? World Economic Forum

* NATO Cyber Defense website section

* NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE)


November 27, Monday. 17.35-19.05

Lecture 3.1 Cyber security of nuclear and other critical infrastructure

Oleg Demidov



Essential Readings


* Cybersecurity of Civil Nuclear Facilities: Assessing the Threat, Mapping the Path Forward. Policy Memo, PIR Center

* Cyber Security at Civil Nuclear Facilities: Understanding the Risks, Chatham House

* Cyber Security at Nuclear Facilities: National Approaches. An ISS Research Project in Cooperation with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI)

* Outpacing Cyber Threats: Priorities for Cybersecurity at Nuclear Facilities, Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI)


General Readings


* Decision No. 1202. Confidence-Building Measures to Reduce the Risks of Conflict Stemming from the Use of Information and Communication Technologies, PC.DEC/1202, 10 March 2016, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

* Good Practices Guide on Non-Nuclear Critical Energy Infrastructure Protection (NNCEIP) from Terrorist Attacks Focusing on Threats Emanating from Cyberspace, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

* Technical Guidance Reference Manual. Nuclear Security Series No. 17: Computer Security at Nuclear Facilities, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

* Protecting Nuclear Infrastructure: The Need for Coordinated Action in the Domain of Technical Standardization, Coordinated Strategy and Exchange of Information,

Oleg Demidov

* Cybersecurity of Nuclear Infrastructure at the Nuclear Security Summit 2016, Alena Makhukova

* Cybersecurity Framework Draft Version 1.1, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

* Презентация - Безопасность критических инфраструктур. Тренинговый курс ПИР-Центра, Алексей Лукацкий, 18.03.2014


Web resources


* The Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT)

* Kaspersky Lab Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT)

* JPCERT Coordination Center, Japan

* Critical Infrastructure Cyber Community C³ Voluntary Program, Department of Homeland Security, USA


November 27, Monday. 19.15-20.45

Seminar 3.2 Case studies of cyber incidents in nuclear and military spheres

Oleg Demidov



Essential Readings


* Stuxnet Facts Report. A Technical and Strategic Analysis, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence, Tallinn, Estonia (CCD COE)

* BlackEnergy - Malware for Cyber-Physical Attacks. Analysis Report, iTrust-Analysis-001, May 2016

* Analysis of the Cyber Attack on the Ukrainian Power Grid Defense Use Case, March 18, 2016, SANS Industrial Control Systems, Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EISAC)


General Readings


* A Cyberattack Has Caused Confirmed Physical Damage for the Second Time Ever, The Wired, 01.08.2015

* The Vulnerability of Nuclear Facilities to Cyber Attack, Brent Kesler

* Кибербезопасность ядерных объектов, Алексей Лукацкий, Индекс Безопасности № 4 (115), Том 21

* Computer Security Incident Response Planning at Nuclear Facilities, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

* Cyber-Physical Systems Security – A Survey, Abdulmalik Humayed, Jingqiang Lin, Fengjun Li, and Bo Luo


Web resources


* Repository of Industrial Security Incidents (RISI)

* Cyber Incident Data and Analysis Working Group White Papers, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), USA

* DHS preps Cyber Incident Data Repository, By Matt Leonard, Apr 24, 2017


December 4, Monday. 17.35-19.05

Lecture 4.1. Use of ICT for intelligence surveillance

Alexandra Kulikova

Summary: The lecture will look at the evolvement of the ICTs as a surveillance tool at the intersection of states’ and businesses’ interests in the digital age, implications for international relations, national and global peace and security as well as the future of secure digital communications.

Essential Readings

* "Global Internet Governance and International Security in the Field of the ICT Use" (Chapter VII) Oleg Demidov, Alexandra Kulikova

 * What's Next in Government Surveillance, Bruce Schneir

* Dissemination and Use of Intrusive Surveillance Technologies

General Readings

* Where did the principle of secrecy in correspondence go?

* “Kaspersky Lab reveals inconvenient truth about cyber arms race”, Alexandra Kulikova 

* “Encryption Myths and Fables”, James Andrew Lewis

* Отчет о прозрачности и политика конфиденциальности ИКТ-корпораций до и после разоблачений Сноудена, Александра Куликова

* The Importance of Being Transparent: Looking at the ICT Companies’ Transparency Reports Through the Prism of the NSA Surveillance Leak. Alexandra Kulikova

* Mass governnment surveillance pros and cons: Is NSA internet spying and data mining justified?

* US intelligence chief: we might use the internet of things to spy on you

* Cyber Espionage or Cyberwar? International Law, Domestic Law, and Self-Protective Measures, Christopher S. Yoo

Web resources

* Electronic Frontrier Foundation Who Has Your Back? Series

* The Intercept

* Bruce Schneir’s blog


December 4, Monday. 19.15-20.45

Lecture 4.2. Applicability of International Law to Cyber space

Alexandra Kulikova



Essential Readings

* Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare

* Cyber Espionage or Cyberwar? International Law, Domestic Law, and Self-Protective Measures, Christopher S. Yoo

* "Global Internet Governance and International Security in the Field of the ICT Use" (Chapter IV) Oleg Demidov, ed. Alexandra Kulikova

General Readings

* Rewired warfare: rethinking the law of cyber attack, Michael Schmitt

* Международное право и проблема обеспечения международной информационной безопасности, А. Крутских, А. Стрельцов

* Cyber Conflict and International Humanitarian Law, Herbert Lin

Web resources

* Tallinn Manual 2.0 to Be Completed in 2016

* Cyber Warfare: International Review

* Cyberweek 2016: Round Table on the Intersection of IHL and Cyberspace. ICRC Blog

* Cyberspace operations in armed conflicts and the proportionality rule. ICRC


December 11, Monday. 17.35-19.05

Final Test


Examples of questions


  1. The Stuxnet computer virus was used against which Iranian Atomic program site? 


    1. Not-yet-completed heavy-water research reactor at Arak
    2. Uranium enrichment plant at Natanz
    3. Uranium enrichment plant at Fordow
    4. Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant



  1. Under US-Russia cyber-security pact signed in 2013, countries:


    1. Used the Russian-American Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers to warn each other of cyber-exercises that might be misperceived as attacks
    2. Acknowledged common vision of the Internet internalization agenda
    3. Agreed on common approach to the content censorship on the Internet
    4. Made efforts on setting international norms for cyberspace





December 11, Monday. 19.15-20.45


Lecture 4.3 Cyber Arms Control

Dr. A. Nikitin


Essential Readings


General Readings


December 18, Monday. 17.35-19.05

Debates. Does deterrence work in the cyber space?

Dr. Elena Chernenko

Summary: The lecture will offer an overview summary of the latest efforts to define the legal basis and tools available in a situation of a cyber conflict and how the existing bodies of international law can be instrumental in cyber warfare and/or preservation of cyber peace.

 Essential Readings

* Dmitri Alperovitch, Towards Establishment of Cyberspace Deterrence Strategy

* Martin Libicki, Would deterrence in cyber space work even without attribution?

General Readings

* Clorinda Trujillo, The Limits of cyber space deterrence

* Liam Nevill, Deterrence in cyberspace: different domain, different rules




December 18, Monday. 19.15-20.45

Debates. Does deterrence work in the cyber space?

Dr. Elena Chernenko