Identifying key relationships between nation-state cyberattacks and geopolitical and economic factors: A model Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2022

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 11


  • 2022

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1939-0114

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-0122


  • Nation-state cyberattacks, and particularly Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), have rocketed in the last years. Their use may be aligned with nation-state geopolitical and economic (GPE) interests, which are key for the underlying international relations (IRs). However, the interdependency between APTs and GPE (and thus IRs) has not been characterized yet and it could be a steppingstone for an enhanced cyberthreat intelligence (CTI). To address this limitation, a set of analytic models are proposed in this work. They are built considering 234M geopolitical events and 306 malicious software tools linked to 13 groups of 7 countries between 2000 and 2019. Models show a substantial support for launched and received cyberattacks considering GPE factors in most countries. Moreover, strategic issues are the key motivator when launching APTs. Therefore, from the CTI perspective, our results show that there is a likely cause-effect relationship between IRs (particularly GPE relevant indicators) and APTs.


  • Computer Science
  • Law
  • Mathematics