2023 Conference on International Cyber Security | 7-8 November 2023
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Panel 6


Analyzing Cyber Operations: Motivations, Means and Methods

Sharon Matzkin

Sharon Matzkin is a doctoral candidate at the University of Haifa and a research fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She specialises in analysing public opinion formation amid digital violence, including cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure. She holds a B.A. in Prehistoric Archaeology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Political Communication from Tel-Aviv University. Sharon's research offers vital insights into contemporary and novel political challenges, shaping the ongoing discourse on public opinion, digital disruptions, and governance. Specifically, her expertise highlights the role of public trust in government and security agencies. She employs advanced methods and has collected extensive data in the US, UK, and Israel. Practical experience at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem enriches her academic pursuits, complementing her academic contributions, including the Chaikin Award for excellence.

Yuval Feinstein

Yuval Feinstein is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Haifa and a visiting professor at Harvard University. His studies address the effects of national belief systems on political emotions and attitudes in crises and settled times, interethnic relations, and the development of nation-states. His articles appeared in many peer-reviewed journals, including the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, and World Politics. His book, “Rally ‘round the Flag: The Search for Honor and Respect in Times of Crisis," was published in 2022 by Oxford University Press.

Daphna Canetti

Daphna Canetti, a professor of political psychology and the Dean of the Herta and Paul Amir Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Haifa, specialises in researching the underlying causes of political conflicts in the Middle East and beyond. Her primary focus is examining how individual exposure to cyber-attacks and political violence shapes individuals' attitudes toward war and peace. Daphna utilises a diverse array of research methodologies, including controlled randomised field experiments, spatial analysis, survey experiments, bio-political research, and physiological-political research, to explore psycho-political responses to political violence and terrorism.



The Impact of Political Orientation on Trust in Government Following Cyber-Attacks on Critical Infrastructure

What is the role of political orientation in the formation of trust in government within the context of cyber-attacks targeting critical infrastructure? In an era where democratic institutions heavily rely on digital systems, concerns have emerged about the erosion of trust due to these cyber threats. Conducted within the framework of right-wing governments in the US, the UK, and Israel in 2018 (n = 1,828), this study employs three survey experiments. Participants were exposed to immersive simulations of cyber-attacks, mimicking real-world scenarios. The subsequent measurement of psychological and political responses aimed to uncover the intricate connection between political orientation and the establishment of public trust. We find that in right-wing government contexts, heightened public trust primarily prevails among those aligning with the right-wing political ideology. Strikingly, the left-wing demographic displays a subdued reaction within this scenario. This revelation introduces a comparative dimension to ongoing discussions regarding the interplay of cyber-attacks and public trust in government. This study highlights the underexplored relationship between political orientation and public trust during cyber-attacks targeting critical infrastructure. Delving into the responses of distinct political segments enriches our understanding of the complex dynamics governing political orientations and public trust in the digital age.