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From Football to Oil Rigs: Risk Assessment for Combined Cyber and Physical Attacks

  • Fred S. Roberts (a1)


Although cyber security has become widely recognized as a serious threat to our modern world, there are new threats to our security that combine cyber with other modes of “attack.” This article explores the increasingly important theme in homeland and national security that future attacks will be multimodal, in particular including both a cyber and a physical component, where the cyber attack is intended to make it easier to succeed in the physical attack, and is not an end in itself. The article describes sample scenarios of combined cyber and physical attacks in two sectors where even just cyber security efforts have lagged behind: sports stadiums and the maritime transportation system. It presents an approach to comparing the risk of a combined cyber followed by physical attack and that of a “traditional” physical attack on the same target. It then analyzes the different stadium and maritime examples from the point of view of this risk assessment approach.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

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From Football to Oil Rigs: Risk Assessment for Combined Cyber and Physical Attacks

  • Fred S. Roberts (a1)


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