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Why Humans are the Weakest Link
University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
2008 (English)In: Social and Human Elements of Information Security: Emerging Trends and Counter-measures / [ed] Manish Gupta, Raj Sharman, Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2008, 15-26 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

 

This chapter introduces the concept of social psychology, and what forms of deception humans are prone to fall for. It presents a background of the area and a thorough description of the most common and important influence techniques. It also gives more practical examples of potential attacks, and what kind of influence techniques they use, as well as a set of recommendations on how to defend against deception, and a discussion on future trends. The author hopes that the understanding of why and how the deceptive techniques work will give the reader new insights into information security in general, and deception in particular. This insight can be used to improve training, to discover influence earlier, or even to gain new powers of influence.

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2008. 15-26 p.
Research subject
Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-2579ISBN: 978-1-60566-036-3 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-2579DiVA: diva2:139380
Available from: 2009-01-22 Created: 2009-01-22 Last updated: 2013-03-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Securing Information Assets: Understanding, Measuring and Protecting against Social Engineering Attacks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Securing Information Assets: Understanding, Measuring and Protecting against Social Engineering Attacks
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Social engineering denotes, within the realm of security, a type of attack against the human element during which the assailant induces the victim to release information or perform actions they should not. Our research on social engineering is divided into three areas: understanding, measuring and protecting. Understanding deals with finding out more about what social engineering is, and how it works. This is achieved through the study of previous work in information security as well as other relevant research areas. The measuring area is about trying to find methods and approaches that put numbers on an organization’s vulnerability to social engineering attacks. Protecting covers the ways an organization can use to try to prevent attacks. A common approach is to educate the users on typical attacks, assailants, and their manipulative techniques. In many cases there are no preventive techniques, dealing with the human element of security, in place.

The results show that social engineering is a technique with a high probability of success. Furthermore, defense strategies against it are complicated, and susceptibility to it is difficult to measure. Important contributions are a model describing social engineering attacks and defenses, referred to as the Cycle of Deception, together with a thorough discussion on why and how social engineering works. We also propose new ways of conducting social engineering penetration testing and outline a set of recommendations for protection. It is crucial to involve managers more, but also to train the users with practical exercises instead of theoretical education, for example, by combining measuring exercises and penetration testing with training. We also discuss the future threat of Automated Social Engineering, in which software with a simple form of artificial intelligence can be used to act as humans using social engineering techniques online, making it quite hard for Internet users to trust anyone they communicate with online.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm University, 2008. 97 p.
Series
Report Series/Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 09-001
National Category
Information Science
Research subject
Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-2916 (URN)978-91-7155-786-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
(English)
Note

Sammanläggning: 7 artiklar

Available from: 2009-06-26 Created: 2009-03-27 Last updated: 2013-02-14Bibliographically approved

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