Special Issue "Game Theory for Security"

A special issue of Games (ISSN 2073-4336).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Aron Laszka

Department of Computer Science, University of Houston
Website | E-Mail
Interests: game theory for cybersecurity, resilient and secure cyber-physical systems and Internet of Things, economics of security, blockchains and smart contracts, AI/ML for security
Guest Editor
Dr. Manos Panaousis

Surrey Centre for Cyber Security, University of Surrey, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: game theory for cybersecurity, IoT security, economics of security, 5G security, machine learning for security

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cybersecurity has become a critical issue for both organizations and individual users, prompting them to employ a variety of cyber-defense solutions. As the complexity of these solutions grows with the increasing number of ofensive techniques, so does the need for rigorously explaining and improving cybersecurity decision-making. Since security decisions must consider a complex ecosystem with a number of other decision-makers, which may include adversaries as well as other defenders, they are modeled most naturally using game theory. Indeed, game theory for security has recently emerged as a new area of research that studies the conflict and cooperation between cybersecurity decision-makers.

Game theory for security has grown to be a diverse area of research. Prior work has considered models ranging from two-player games to n-player games, with the players representing various combinations of defenders and attackers. Researchers have studied many solution concepts, such as the popular Stackelberg equilibrium, and they have considered both descriptive and normative interpretations of the outcomes. Results range from characterization of best-responses and equilibria to computational results, behavioral user studies, simulations, and real-world deployments. Despite the abundance of prior work, game theory for security remains a very active research area with a plethora of open problems, driven by the practical need to understand and improve security decision-making.

Dr. Manos Panaousis
Dr. Aron Laszka
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Games is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Security and privacy of wireless and mobile communications
  • Economics of cybersecurity
  • Security and privacy for the Internet-of-Things, 5G, cyberphysical systems, and cloud computing
  • Risk assessment and security risk management
  • Machine learning for intrusion detection
  • Adversarial machine learning
  • Defending against Advanced Persistent Threats
  • Data trustworthiness in mobile crowdsensing
  • Blockchain technologies
  • Defending against social-engineering attacks
  • Defending against DDoS
  • Physical security

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Ransomware and Reputation
Games 2019, 10(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10020026
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 7 May 2019 / Accepted: 11 May 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
PDF Full-text (404 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Ransomware is a particular form of cyber-attack in which a victim loses access to either his electronic device or files unless he pays a ransom to criminals. A criminal’s ability to make money from ransomware critically depends on victims believing that the criminal [...] Read more.
Ransomware is a particular form of cyber-attack in which a victim loses access to either his electronic device or files unless he pays a ransom to criminals. A criminal’s ability to make money from ransomware critically depends on victims believing that the criminal will honour ransom payments. In this paper we explore the extent to which a criminal can build trust through reputation. We demonstrate that there are situations in which it is optimal for the criminal to always return the files and situations in which it is not. We argue that the ability to build reputation will depend on how victims distinguish between different ransomware strands. If ransomware is to survive as a long term revenue source for criminals then they need to find ways of building a good reputation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game Theory for Security)

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