University of Michigan
ANN ARBOR–Whether a nation should retaliate against a cyber attack is a complicated decision, and a new framework guided by game theory could help policymakers determine the best strategy.
The “Blame Game” was developed in part by Robert Axelrod, a University of Michigan political scientist who is well known for solving a version of the classic game theory scenario known as “the prisoner’s dilemma.” Axelrod is the Walgreen Professor for the Study of Human Understanding at the U-M Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
The new study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, examines when a victim should tolerate a cyber attack, when a victim should respond–and how. The researchers, including others from the University of Michigan and their colleagues at the University of New Mexico and IBM Research, use historical examples to illustrate how the Blame Game applies to cases of cyber or traditional conflict involving the United States, Russia, China, Japan, North Korea, Estonia, Israel, Iran and Syria.
It is released as the U.S. faces increasing cybersecurity threats, including the recent attacks against the Democratic National Committee and the Chinese theft of databases containing the personal information of 21.5 million federal employees.
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