Red Cross seeks ‘digital emblem’ to protect against piracy

BERLIN (AP) — The International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday it was seeking support to create a “digital Red Cross/Red Crescent emblem” that would make it clear to military and other pirates that they have entered in the computer systems of medical facilities or Red Cross Offices.

The Geneva-based aid organization said it called on governments, Red Cross and Red Crescent societies and IT experts to join forces to develop “concrete ways to protect…

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BERLIN (AP) — The International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday it was seeking support to create a “digital Red Cross/Red Crescent emblem” that would make it clear to military and other pirates that they have entered in the computer systems of medical facilities or Red Cross Offices.

The Geneva-based aid organization said it called on governments, Red Cross and Red Crescent societies and IT experts to join forces to develop “concrete ways to protect medical and humanitarian services against digital damage during armed conflict”.

For more than 150 years, symbols such as the red cross have been used to make it clear that “in times of armed conflict, those who wear the red cross or installations and objects marked with it must be protected against all danger”. , said the ICRC. That same obligation should apply online, the organization said, noting that hacking operations in conflict were likely to increase as more militaries develop cyber capabilities.

The organization said that for the proposed “digital emblem” to become a reality, nations around the world would need to agree on its use and incorporate it into international humanitarian law alongside existing humanitarian insignia. He hopes the emblem will identify computer systems at protected facilities like a red cross or crescent on the roof of a hospital does in the real world.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it has identified three technical possibilities: a DNS-based emblem that would use a special tag to link it to a domain name; an emblem based on intellectual property; and an ADEM, or Authenticated Digital Emblem, system that would use certificate chains to signal protection.

The ICRC said it was working with Johns Hopkins University, ITMO University in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Center for Cyber ​​Trust, a joint venture of ETH Zurich in Switzerland and the University German company in Bonn, to develop technological solutions.

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