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women@CL Talklets - Security

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Three talklets by security group members:

Title: Pico Project: Current Research into Pico Usability

Speaker: Jeunese Payne

Abstract: The weaknesses of passwords as an authentication scheme have not been detrimental to their ubiquity. This is not because passwords are more usable, but because they are easy to administer, well understood by both users and administers, and require no additional hardware or software. Pico, on the other hand, is not currently easy to administer, is not widely understood, and does require additional hardware and software. Our research aims to determine how we can improve the deployability of Pico, an obstacle not currently faced by passwords. This is a particular challenge because we are not only challenging passwords as they are supposed to be used, but as they are actually used, which is arguably more usable, though much less secure, than our current conception of Pico. Several lines of research in progress are currently being conducted to answer questions about this issue of usability.

Title: A crime script analysis of the online stolen data market

Speaker: Alice Hutchings

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to better understand the online black market economy, specifically relating to stolen data, using crime script analysis. Content analysis of 13 English and Russian-speaking stolen data forums found that the different products and services offered enabled the commodification of stolen data. The marketplace offers a range of complementary products, from the supply of hardware and software to steal data, the sale of the stolen data itself, to the provision of services to turn data into money, such as drops, cashiers and money laundering. The crime script analysis provides some insight into how the actors in these forums interact, and the actions they perform, from setting up software to finalising transactions and exiting the marketplace.

Title: How transparency can help decrease insurance fraud

Speaker: Sophie Van Der Zee

Abstract: Fraud is a pervasive and challenging problem that costs society large amounts of money. By no means all of it is committed by ‘professional criminals’: much is committed by ordinary people who indulge in small-scale opportunistic deception. Previous research has shown that perceptions of unfairness can give rise to dishonest feelings, intentions and behavior; many fiddles are done by firms’ customers or employers ‘getting their own back’. However, it is still unknown exactly how violations of fairness can cause dishonest behavior. In two studies we demonstrate that people do indeed behave more dishonestly when treated unfairly, and that this effect of fairness is larger than not wanting to ‘miss out’: although rejected insurance claims in general led to dishonest behavior, this effect was larger when claims were rejected unfairly. We subsequently measured whether dishonesty was driven by the financial loss associated with rejection, or emotional factors such as a desire for revenge. We found that rejected subjects were just as dishonest when their cheating led to financial gain as when there were no financial benefits. However, they felt stronger emotions when there was no money involved, suggesting that when fairness principles are violated, emotional involvement drives dishonest behavior more strongly than a rational cost-benefit analysis. We suggest that firms wishing to deter customers and employees from committing fraud should first of all treat them fairly, and secondly provide an effective means of complaint, so that people have a legitimate target

This talk is part of the Women@CL Events series.

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