Hypothesis testing game for cyber deception

Tao Zhang, Quanyan Zhu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Deception is a technique to mislead human or computer systems by manipulating beliefs and information. Successful deception is characterized by the information-asymmetric, dynamic, and strategic behaviors of the deceiver and the deceivee. This paper proposes a game-theoretic framework to capture these features of deception in which the deceiver sends the strategically manipulated information to the deceivee while the deceivee makes the best-effort decisions based on the information received and his belief. In particular, we consider the case when the deceivee adopts hypothesis testing to make binary decisions and the asymmetric information is modeled using a signaling game where the deceiver is a privately-informed player called sender and the deceivee is an uninformed player called receiver. We characterize perfect Bayesian Nash equilibrium (PBNE) solution of the game and study the deceivability of the game. Our results show that the hypothesis testing game admits pooling and partially-separating-pooling equilibria. In pooling equilibria, the deceivability depends on the true types, while in partially-separating-pooling equilibria, the deceivability depends on the cost of the deceiver. We introduce the receiver operating characteristic curve to visualize the equilibrium behavior of the deceiver and the performance of the decision making, thereby characterizing the deceivability of the hypothesis testing game.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDecision and Game Theory for Security - 9th International Conference, GameSec 2018, Proceedings
EditorsLinda Bushnell, Radha Poovendran, Tamer Basar
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783030015534
StatePublished - 2018
Event9th International Conference on Decision and Game Theory for Security, GameSec 2018 - Seattle, United States
Duration: Oct 29 2018Oct 31 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11199 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other9th International Conference on Decision and Game Theory for Security, GameSec 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Cyber deception
  • Cybersecurity
  • Game theory
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Signaling game

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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