The Emergence of Cyber Conflicts in the Middle East



Kate Yeager, Stanford University

Date and Time

May 6, 2021 3:15 PM - 3:45 PM


RSVP Required.


Virtual Seminar

Introductions will start at 2:40pm. Each presentation will be 20 minutes with a 10 minute discussion.


* Please note all CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone.


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About the Event: What motivates Middle Eastern nations to develop the cybersecurity governance agencies that protect from malicious cyber activity? As the world has watched major cyber powers such as China, Russia and the United States emerge, a region often at the forefront of conversations on conventional military conflict, the Middle East, has broadly been left undiscussed in the realm of cyber policy. While this may be indicative of a lack of malicious cyber activity within the region, cyber conflict, however, is on the rise between Middle Eastern States. An original data set of over 50 significant cyber incidents since 2007 shows that the biggest perpetrators of malicious cyber activity against Middle Eastern states are state actors within the region, as opposed to extra-regional states, third-party hacking groups, terrorist organizations or political organizations. Moreover, this malicious cyber activity has had two major waves of increase that align with both the Arab Spring and the Persian Gulf Crisis. The growing threat of regional cyber conflict in tandem with political unrest and conventional military conflict suggest that Middle Eastern nations have been motivated to develop cyber defense structures in response to a growing regional threat of malicious cyber activity.


About the Speaker: Kate is currently studying History with a minor in Middle Eastern Languages. She has pursued her interests in both cyber policy and Middle Eastern politics through an internship at the National Security Commission on A.I. and as deputy head of Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster's research team. She has received a Fulbright award to purse a Master's in Conflict Research, Management and Resolution at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem next year.