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Measuring Readiness for Automated Social Engineering
University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för data- och systemvetenskap (Säkerhetsinformatik).
Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för data- och systemvetenskap (Säkerhetsinformatik).
2008 (English)In: Proceedings of the 7th Annual Security Conference, Las Vegas, USA, June 2-3, 2008 [CD-ROM], 2008, 20.1-20.13 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents the result of a case study of the readiness of four large Swedish multinational corporations to deal with automated social engineering attacks. A preliminary study to review how the security policy of a large corporation deals with social engineering attacks was performed. The results from this study were combined with a conceptual model of social engineering when constructing a new interview protocol and a grading scale. This interview protocol was designed to measure the readiness of an organization to deal with social engineering attacks in general, and in this case with automated social engineering in particular. Four interviews were conducted with senior security managers and senior employees. Results indicate that no organization was over 60% on the readiness scale and thus all are considered at risk of attack.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. 20.1-20.13 p.
Keyword [en]
Automated social engineering, social engineering, readiness, security readiness measurements, web 2.0 security, cycle of deception, onlnine social networks
Research subject
Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-3623ISBN: 978-1-935160-01-4 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-3623DiVA: diva2:291313
Conference
7th Annual Security Conference, Las Vegas, USA, June 2-3, 2008
Available from: 2010-02-01 Created: 2010-02-01 Last updated: 2013-03-17Bibliographically 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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