Max Kilger, Ph.D.

Professor of Practice , Management Science and Statistics

Max Kilger, Ph.D.



Max Kilger is a Professor of Practice holding joint appointments in the Management Science & Statistics Department as well as in the Department of Information Systems & Cyber Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is a core faculty member of the UTSA School of Data Science and directed the Master in Data Analytics program for eight years.  Max is currently the Academic Director of the UTSA IC CAE Critical Technology Studies Program which prepares young people for a career in the Intelligence Community.  Max received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stanford University.   He has over 20 years of experience in the area of information security concentrating on the social and psychological factors motivating malicious online actors, hacking groups and cyberterrorists.  Max has written and co-authored a number of journal articles, book chapters and books in the national security space on profiling motivations of malicious online actors, the social structure of the hacking community, future emerging digital threats, cyberviolence, factors related to civilian attacks on critical infrastructure, hybrid warfare and the emergence of cyberterrorism.   He co-authored the popular book Reverse Deception: Organized Cyberthreat Counter-Exploitation as well being a co-author on a more recent book, Deception in the Digital Age.

He is a founding and board member of The Honeynet Project – a not-for-profit international information security organization with 40 teams of experts in 32 countries working for the public good.  Max was a member of a National Academy of Engineering committee dedicated to make recommendations for combating terrorism following the September 11, 2001 attacks. He is also a faculty member of the Cyber Center for Security and Analytics and a regular speaker on national security policy in the cyber domain for the U.S. State Department’s SUSI program.  Max is a member of an international instructional team teaching NATO counterterrorism courses at COEDAT in Ankara Turkey, a participant in NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Program in the Balkans and has participated in NATO’s TIDE speaker series as well as authoring a paper on the future cyber battlefield for NATO’s Allied Command Transformation Headquarters.  Max is a frequent national and international speaker to industry, federal law enforcement, the military and intelligence communities.


  • Application of statistical techniques and methods to business problems
  • Role of the U.S. intelligence community
  • Relationships between people and digital technology from a National Security Perspective

Research Interests

  • Motivations of malicious online actors
  • Equivalency of kinetic and cyber attacks
  • Terrorism and cyberterrorism
  • Data fusion
  • Quantification of difficult to quantify things
  • National security policy in the cyber domain 


  • Ph.D. Stanford University
  • M.A. Stanford University
  • B.A. Oregon State University


  • "Terrorism and Targeting People, Healthcare Systems and the Effect on National Security During the COVID 19 Pandemic," 2021, In Zlatogor Minchv (Eds.), Digital Transformation in the Post Informational Age. Sophia: Institute of ICT, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences & Softtrade Publishing House.
  • "The Need to Develop Kinetic-Cyber Equivalencies," 2021, In Akdemir, N., Lawless, J. and Turksen U (Eds.), Cybercrime in Action: An International Approach to Cybercrime (pp. 19). Nobel Publishing.
  • "Deception in the Digital Age" with Malin, C., Holt, T., Guaditis, T., 2017, Cambridge, MA: Academic Press.
  • "Anticipating the Nature and Likelihood of a Cyberterror Community," 2017, In Tarek Saadawi and John Cowell Jr. (Eds.), Critical Infrastructure Protection Volume III (vol. 3, pp. 157-192). Carlisle, PA: Department of Defense, Strategic Studies Group, Army War College.
  • "The Evolving Nature of Nation State – Malicious Online Actor Relationships," 2016, In Tom Holt (Eds.), Cybercrime Through an Interdisciplinary Lens (pp. 30). London: Routledge.
  • "Integrating Human Behavior Into the Development of Future Cyberterrorism Scenarios," In IEEE (Eds.), 2015 10th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security (ARES) (pp. 8). New York, New York: IEEE
  • "Exploring the behavioral and attitudinal correlates of civilian cyberattacks," with Holt, T., Chiang, L., Yang, C., 2015, In Martin Bouchard (Eds.), Social Networks, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism: Radical and Connected Contemporary Terrorism Studies, pp. 26. New York, New York: Routledge.
  • "The emergence  of the civilian cyber warrior," In Tarek Saadawi and Louis Jordan (Eds.), Cyber Infrastructure Protection Vol. 2, 2013, pp. 21,Carlisle, PA: Department of Defense, Strategic Studies Institute, Army War College.
  • "Reverse Deception:  Organized Cyber Counter-Exploitation," with Bodmer, S., Kilger, M., Carpenter, G., Jones, J., 2012, pp. 464, New York, New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • "Terrorist attack on the national electrical grid. Quantifying and Controlling Catastrophic Risks," with Garrick, B.J., Christie, R.F., Hornberger, G.M., Stetkar, J.W., 2008, Waltham, MA: Academic Press.