Has the Cyber Warfare Threat been Overstated?— A Cheap Talk Game Theoretic Analysis

ABSTRACT

In a previous study (Ma 2010), we approached the problem of asymmetry of strategic information warfare (SIW) from the perspective of costly communication governed by the handicap principle (Zahavi & Zahavi 1997). In this study, we approach another problem of SIW, i.e., the assessment of cyber warfare threats, from the perspective of costless communication, which can be formulated as a cheap talk game. We apply the classic Crawford & Sobel (C-S) (1982) cheap talk game model to answer the question of whether or not cyber warfare threats may be exaggerated. Based on the Bayesian Nash equilibrium of the C-S cheap talk game, we demonstrate that, although it is possible to reach a consensus (equilibrium) between the Agent (e.g., cyber warfare lobbyist) and the Principal (e.g., government) on the state of cyber warfare threats, the loss of the state information is hardly avoidable due to A’s bias in sending costless messages.


AUTHORS

Computational Biology and Medical Ecology Laboratory, State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming,
China

Zhanshan (Sam) Ma is a Professor and the Director of Computational Biology and Medical Ecology Lab at Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He received double PhD degrees in Computer Science (2008) and Entomology (1997), both from the University of Idaho, USA. He is a member of London-based “Faculty of 1000 Biology and Medicine” and the editor-in-chief of Int. J. of Computational Microbiology and Medical Ecology, and Int. J. of Cyberspace Sciences and Emergency Management. Dr. Ma holds endowed professor appointments from Chinese Academy of Sciences (i.e., The 100-Talented Principal Investigators) and Yunnan Provincial Government (i.e., The Top Talents in Science and Technology), respectively. He has published over 70 peer-refereed papers in premier platforms of Computer Science and Biology such as IEEE Transactions on Reliability and Science Translational Medicine.

Computational Biology and Medical Ecology Laboratory,
State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming,
China

Hongju (Daisy) Chen is a Research Associate in the Computational Biology and Medical Ecology Lab at Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. She holds a Master’s Degree in Mathematics. Her research interests include dynamic systems, game theory and bioinformatics.

Department of Computer Science, University of Idaho,
Moscow, ID, USA

Axel W. Krings is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Idaho. He received his Ph.D. (1993) and M.S. (1991) degrees in Computer Science from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and his M.S. (1982) in Electrical Engineering from the FH-Aachen, Germany. Dr. Krings has published extensively in the area of Computer & Network Survivability, Security, Fault-Tolerance, and Real-time Scheduling. In 2004/2005 he was a visiting professor at the Institut d'Informatique et Mathématiques Appliquées de Grenoble, at the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble, France. His work has been funded by DoE/INL, DoT/NIATT, DoD/OST and NIST.

Journal of Information Warfare

The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.

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Keywords

C

C2
C2S
CDX
CIA
CIP
CPS

D

DNS
DoD
DoS

I

IA
ICS

S

SOA

X

XRY

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