Archer’s Stakes in Cyber Space: Methods to Analyze Force Advantage

  • Daniel P. Hughes
Part of the Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications book series (ASTSA)


This chapter presents two frameworks for analysing the deployment of cyber weapons by nation states. Framework One examines the factors that comprise the deployment of cyber weapons through four categories of analysis. These categories are: (a) how the cyber weapon is deployed; (b) the effects that the cyber weapon creates; (c) the target against which the cyber weapon is launched; and (d) the objectives sought through the cyber weapon deployment. Framework One is illustrated through an examination of Operation Orchard—the cyber enabled Israeli strike on a suspected Syrian nuclear facility in 2007. Framework Two provides an alternative means to analyse the deployment of cyber weapons by nation states. This is achieved through an examination of the variables considered when determining whether cyber weapon deployment will be politically advantageous. Central to the analysis is a comparative calculation of the benefits and disadvantages (dis-benefits) arising from the use of cyber weaponry. Consideration of benefits focuses on the political value of objectives that can be achieved through the deployment of cyber weaponry, as well as the likelihood that these objectives will be achieved. Analysis of dis-benefits focuses first on the internal and external political constraints on state deployment of cyber weapons, then on the risk and impact of retaliation against the state initiating cyber weapon use. The utility of Framework Two is explored by examining the Stuxnet attack on Iranian nuclear enrichment capabilities.


Cyber weapons Cyber warfare Nation states Analytic frameworks 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Victoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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