Cyber Conflict Model

We study cyber conflict as a two-person, zero-sum game in discrete time, where each player discovers new exploits according to an independent random process. Upon discovery, the player must decide if and when to exercise a munition based on that exploit. The payoff from using the munition is a function of time that is (generally) increasing. These factors create a basic tension: the longer a player waits to exercise a munition, the greater his payoff because the munition is more mature, but also the greater the chance that the opponent will also discover the exploit and nullify the munition. Assuming perfect knowledge, and under mild restrictions on the time-dependent payoff function for a munition, we derive optimal exercise strategies and quantify the value of engaging in cyber conflict. Our analysis also leads to  high-level insights on cyber  conflict strategy.

Papers

Harrison C. Schramm, David L. Alderson, W. Matthew Carlyle, and Nedialko B. Dimitrov. A Game Theoretic Model of Strategic Conflict in Cyberspace. Military Operations Research, March 2014, 19(1), 5-17

Harrison Schramm, David L. Alderson, W. Matthew Carlyle, and Nedialko B. Dimitrov . A Game Theoretic Model of Strategic Conflict in Cyberspace. Naval Postgraduate School Technical Report, NPS-OR-11-005, January 2012

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