What drives hacktivism? Weighing the payoffs against the risks
A new study examining factors that contribute to the likelihood of a hacktivist carrying out an attack showed, unexpectedly, that the payoffs are the main predictor, not the risks involved. The study, which also considered the potential effects of sex differences and peer hacking activity on hacktivism, is published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.
Jessica Bodford, PhD and Virginia Kwan, PhD, Arizona State University, Tempe, used game theory to determine how a group of computer science students weight the perceived risks and benefits of hacktivism, which is hacking to deliver a moral, ethical, or social justice message. Another aim of the study was to develop a descriptive profile of a potential hacktivist, as described in the article entitled "A Game Theoretical Approach to Hacktivism: Is Attack Likelihood a Product of Risks and Payoffs?"
"Hacktivism is becoming increasingly more prevalent as an inexpensive and easily accessible alternative to real world protests. The lack of variability by gender is important to note as we seek to develop a reliable profile of potential hacktivists," says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium.