Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Arts in Political Science


Political Science

Major Advisor

Michael Allen, Ph.D.


Brian Wampler, Ph.D.


Michael Touchton, Ph.D.


Cyber conflict between states is a growing trend. There is a large body of research on cyber conflict, but there is very little quantitative analysis to support the theories or to assist in predicting future use of cyber operations. Using a logistic regression analysis, this thesis studies cyber conflicts between dyadic rivals from 2001 to 2011 to answer under what conditions cyber incidents occur between dyadic rivals in the past in the hopes to better analyze and predict future cyber incidents. The data demonstrate that the geographic proximity between dyads increases the probability of a cyber incident occurring while any or both of the dyads holds membership in NATO causes a decrease in the probability that cyber operations occur between dyadic rivals. The share of military personnel, military expenditure, and energy consumption is not enough to explain cyber incident trends. The results also show that many of my variables are conditional upon each other for their significance. It is imperative that states address the issues surrounding cyber conflict as the trend is increasing. At the present, the fear of retaliation will always be present as some argue that cyber defensive capabilities will never overtake cyber offensive capabilities as the latter is constantly transforming and evolving while the former is constantly playing “catch up.”