Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Liam D. Anderson, Ph.D. (Committee Chair); Carlos E. Costa, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Vaughn Shannon, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Since the cyber realm has become a prevalent area in society, states have been developing ways to use this realm to their advantage. Popular literature asserts that cyber attacks are equalizing, frequently-occurring events that make them “revolutionary” tools of warfare; however, this study hypothesizes that cyber operations are not as revolutionary as the literature asserts. This study examines the revolutionary capabilities of offensive cyber operations by studying documented cases of state-sponsored offensive cyber operations from 2005-2019. By utilizing statistical methods, first the paper examines the documented cases and analyzes which states conduct most of these operations. Then, the paper will use statistical methods to examine the trends in states that have publicly documented instances of cyber operations versus those that do not.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Political Science

Year Degree Awarded