Assembling cybersecurity: The politics and materiality of technical malware reports and the case of Stuxnet

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Abstract

This is an article about how cybersecurity gets “made,” with a focus on the role of commercial computer security firms in generating knowledge in matters of international cybersecurity. The argument is two-fold. Firstly, malware may be an intangible artefact in some ways, but its success and its interpretation as malware is deeply interwoven in social, technical and material alliances. Secondly, a materialist-minded examination of Symantec’s Stuxnet reports will demonstrate the politically situated nature of how cybersecurity expertise emerges. The article finds that Symantec’s work was not a-political or neutrally-technical: Their experts made profoundly political choices in their analyses. By showing the processes that go into making cybersecurity, the article contributes to a widening and deepening of debates about what is at stake in cybersecurity knowledge and practices.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalContemporary Security Policy
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2019

Structured keywords

  • SPAIS Global Insecurities Centre

Keywords

  • intangible artifacts
  • cybersecurity
  • security studies
  • materiality
  • Stuxnet

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