Considering the relationship between cyber and war risks

As a marine insurer, the situation we might face would likely be the opposite, i.e. “cyber exclusion on war cover”.
There are things to think about when we look at the maritime cyber exclusion clauses that are used today. Many of these clauses are structured according to the following logic: any loss directly or indirectly caused by or contributive to or arising from a cyber attack will be excluded, however in the event that the clause is endorsed on war cover, this exclusion does not apply. will not apply to cases where cyber is used to launch, guide or fire a weapon or missile”.

Here we can see that there is an intent to cover artillery and missile casualties even though it is cyber related, and that makes sense given why the war clauses exist.

Now, when we think about the situation we have today, is it only artillery and missiles that are related to cyber (computer, system, software, program or any other electronic system)? For example, what about mines? Are they not linked to electronic systems or programs? We are not talking about 19th century mines but about those used today.

The formulation of causality is also an important factor. If language such as “directly or indirectly caused by” is used, this extends well beyond the immediate/primary cause of the loss. As long as there is a link between risk and loss, even a remote risk can trigger exclusion. This means that the cybernetic factor does not have to be an immediate/dominant cause, but a slight risk that contributed to the loss. If a mine uses an electronic system in some way, the loss caused by the mine may not be covered.

Another example; assuming that a ship/cargo has been captured and such an operation has been executed with a computer used within the naval force. This may trigger “directly or indirectly caused by the use of a computer” and therefore not be covered.

To sum up, in modern warfare, any measure or operation would be based on at least some input from a computer, system, software, program, or any other electronic system… which is cyber.

In other words, is there anything unrelated to cyber in today’s warfare that we could think about.
Source: International Marine Insurance Union

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