Incentive-based modeling and inference of Attacker Intent, Objectives, and Strategies

Peng Liu, Wanyu Zang

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Although the ability to model and infer Attacker Intent, Objectives and Strategies (AIOS) may dramatically advance the literature of risk assessment, harm prediction, and predictive or proactive cyber defense, existing AIOS inference techniques are ad hoc and system or application specific. In this paper, we present a general incentive-based method to model AIOS and a game theoretic approach to infer AIOS. On one hand, we found that the concept of incentives can unify a large variety of attacker intents; the concept of utilities can integrate incentives and costs in such a way that attacker objectives can be practically modeled. On the other hand, we developed a game theoretic AIOS formalization which can capture the inherent inter-dependency between AIOS and defender objectives and strategies in such a way that AIOS can be automatically inferred. Finally, we use a specific case study to show how AIOS can be inferred in real world attack-defense scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-189
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
StatePublished - 2003
EventProceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2003 - Washington, DC, United States
Duration: Oct 27 2003Oct 31 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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