Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cognitive hacking warnings

01.08.2002


More Internet information means more disinformation,warns a Dartmouth engineering professor



Why is the stock market fluctuating wildly these days? Is it poor earnings reports? Is it questionable accounting practices or CEO inefficiency? Or do investors trade frantically after they’ve read something on the Internet? If an investor reads a seemingly authoritative report about a company’s performance, he or she might be influenced to buy or sell stock.

Sometimes what seems to be a respected source of reliable information is actually a clever scheme to manipulate people, suggests Dartmouth Thayer School of Engineering Professor George Cybenko. This kind of "cognitive hacking" on the Internet could be contributing to the stock market’s uncertainty, and it could shape our views in ways we don’t even realize.


In an article in the August issue of Computer magazine, the publication of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society, Cybenko recounts some elaborate cyber schemes intended to alter the user’s perceptions. Writing with Paul Thompson, a senior research engineer at Dartmouth’s Institute for Security Technology Studies, and Annarita Giani, a graduate student, the article describes different kinds of cognitive hacking and offers suggestions for combating this cunning crime.

"This really is a problem area straddling technology and society," says Cybenko. "By manipulating information, hackers can alter our perceptions of reality in subtle ways – without launching a virus or a network worm."

In one case during the summer of 2000, a cognitive hacker wrote a press release about a company stating that the company was revising its earnings statement to reflect a loss rather than a gain. Then he distributed the release, which also stated that the company’s CEO had resigned, via a credible business news service, which was subsequently picked up by other news services. Within hours the stock price had plummeted, and the hacker had recouped a recent loss in a stock short sale (this is where stock prices must fall for the seller to profit). Although he was caught, fined and faces prison time, this scenario demonstrates the vulnerability of some networked systems.

"The damage had little to do with penetrating the network infrastructure or technology. It had to do with manipulating perception and waiting for altered reality to produce actions that would complete the attack," the article states.

Cybenko, Giani and Thompson describe various shades of cognitive hacking, some with significant consequences, while others are simply a nuisance. The outcome, however, is usually unpredictable. It’s this unknown quality that makes thwarting cognitive hackers a challenge.

"People can help by trying to authenticate their information before acting on it," says Cybenko. "Of course, if the source is a news organization, the content provider has a responsibility to provide accurate, balanced information, but market pressures to be first with a story are taking their toll." Other avenues for curbing cognitive hacking involve network surveillance and constant monitoring, but the article points out that many of these tools and technologies still need to be developed.

"Until then, users must remain constantly alert," the article concludes

Sue Knapp | EurekAlert!

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht Tile Based DASH Streaming for Virtual Reality with HEVC from Fraunhofer HHI
03.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik Heinrich-Hertz-Institut

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>