UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for global regulations to minimize the impact of electronic warfare on civilians.
In a speech at the University of Lisbon, Guterres said on February 19 that "the next war will begin with a massive cyberattack to destroy military capacity...and paralyze basic infrastructure such as the electric networks."
"Episodes of cyberwarfare between states already exist," he noted, adding that "there is no regulatory scheme for that type of warfare, it is not clear how the Geneva Convention or international humanitarian law applies to it."
Guterres offered the United Nations as a platform where scientists, government officials, and other players could work out rules "to guarantee a more humane character" of any conflict involving information technology.
Guterres's call comes after the United States and Britain last week blamed Russia for the massive NotPetya ransomware attack in June 2017 that disrupted companies across Europe.
Moscow rejected the allegations as groundless.