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Patriotic hackers

Wood, Steven (2017) Patriotic hackers. Masters thesis (MSc), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

Patriotic hackers are a group who have not been widely studied. However, their presence in cyberspace during a conflict or crisis escalates matters and can have harmful consequences. Together with their use of advanced cyber weapons, the implications of their actions need to be better recognised and understood. Utilising current academic and non-academic literature, alongside interviews with industry experts and the author’s own field diary, this study aimed to critically evaluate the current use of patriotic hackers. In conclusion, contributions to both theory and practice have been made. A theoretical model for patriotic hacking has been developed to aid further research. The advice offered to organisations is not to waste resources preparing for a patriotic hacker attack but rather to work with governments to more effectively respond. Additionally, it is recommended that new, international treaties are required to discourage the use of patriotic hackers, and to attempt to prevent cyber weapon proliferation. Such treaties are required to prevent escalation during crises and to secure the advantages that cyberspace offers to society.

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