Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How we are tricked into into giving away our personal information

15.01.2009
We human beings don’t always do as we have been taught, and organizations are poorly prepared for IT security attacks that target human weaknesses.

Since it is difficult to change people’s behavior, it doesn’t help to provide training about how to behave securely. This is shown by Marcus Nohlberg in his dissertation at Stockholm University in Sweden in which he studied attacks that are called social engineering in IT contexts.

The concept of social engineering refers to the art of using social codes and knowledge of human behavior to get us to provide information or do things we should not do. A topical example happened very recently in Sweden, where people received calls from a person who purported to represent the IT office at their bank and asked them to identify themselves using their personal bank encoders. The attacker then used these codes to steal money from the victims’ accounts.

“I predicted a couple of years ago that this kind of attack would become common, especially account fraud,” says Marcus Nohlberg.

Despite the serious consequences, with many successful fraud attempts, this technique has received little attention among researchers. Marcus Nohlberg’s research has led to enhanced knowledge about what methods attackers use and what it is that makes people and organizations so vulnerable. Somewhat depressingly, Marcus Nohlberg’s research shows that information and training do not work as well as we think:

“There will always be a small group of people who do not do as they were taught. What’s more, it’s all too seldom that people undergo training in security issues in general. To change behavior, this is something that needs to be worked with constantly. The best thing is practical training, and it’s probable that organizations will need to start running internal checks where they in fact create fictitious attacks in order to identify weaknesses,” says Marcus Nohlberg.

Social engineering as a method of fraud is costly for the attacker since it requires commitment and time. However, software and technologies already exist that can interact with other people automatically:

“You can easily imagine how serious it will be when such programs target victims via digital forums like Facebook in the future. When it becomes just as simple as spreading spam, this will present a major threat to social activities on the Internet.”

In his research, Marcus Nohlberg presents a description of fraud crimes from the perspectives of victims, perpetrators, and defenders, but he also offers suggested measures for preventing attacks, based on his own experiences from controlled attacks.

Title of dissertation: Securing Information Assets -- Understanding, Measuring and Protecting against Social Engineering Attacks.

Maria Erlandsson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.su.se

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>