Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Computer Science

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Keith W. Miller


Wenjie He

Shaji A. Khan

Sharlee Climer


The rise of online devices, online users, online shopping, online gaming, and online teaching has ultimately given rise to online attacks and online crimes. As cases of COVID-19 seem to increase day by day, so do online crimes and attacks (as many sectors and organizations went 100% online). Technological advancements and cyber warfare already generated many ethical issues, as internet users increasingly need ethical cyber defense strategies.

Individual internet users have challenges on their end; and on the other end, nation states (some secretly, some openly), are investing in robot weapons and autonomous weapons systems (AWS). New technologies have combined with countries’ security worries to give rise to a new arms race. Because a nation can enter the automated weapons space in a way that is impractical for nuclear weapons, nations are trying to make their presence known in both the offline and online battlefields. In this dissertation, we contend that it is possible to frame an ethical security model that will help users to effectively respond to increasing online crimes, robot weapons and online attacks.

The main contribution of this dissertation will be to show that there are multiple cyber defense principles, counter measures, and ethical actions to slow down these ongoing threats. Most importantly, the countermeasures and security strategies can save billions of dollars (otherwise invested in developing autonomous weapons, firewalls & robotics industries for an arms race between nation states) and help us work towards global peace and security.