I am a new graduate student in computer science and starting to submit papers to IEEE and ACM. I would like the diagrams to look as professional as possible. For example, if I am showing a digital attack on a computer network, I would like computer and server node icons etc. I was able to find these common ones easily in many WYSIWYG graphics editors.
However, an icon of a "hacker" or "attacker" is harder to find by default since these are more 'niche' if you will. For these I notice that I can use IconFinder, however many icons have a Creative Commons license -- which generally means that I should attribute the original creator. Since I use many icons in my diagrams, it would be easier if I can find some that do not require attribution.
I noticed that the Creative Commons BY 3.0 license has a clause that says:
You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation
Now I have two main questions:
Does that clause I quoted mean that I can use it in a paper going to IEEE or ACM or such publications? Is that considered public domain?¹
How do you find icons that you can use freely in your paper without the need for attribution?
¹ I realize this borders on "legal question" and someone might be reluctant in answering it. Just making it clear that I would not hold anyone or Stack Exchange liable for any advice given.