Visible to the public Leveraging the Effects of Cognitive Function on Input Device Analytics to Improve Security - January 2017Conflict Detection Enabled

Public Audience
Purpose: To highlight project progress. Information is generally at a higher level which is accessible to the interested public. All information contained in the report (regions 1-3) is a Government Deliverable/CDRL.

PI(s):  David L. Roberts, Robert St. Amant
Researchers: Alok Goel, Ignacio X. Dominguez, Jayant Dhawan



  • Human Behavior - Our work addresses understanding human behavior through observations of input device usage. The basic principles we are developing will enable new avenues for characterizing risk and identifying malicious (or accidental) uses of systems that lead to security problems. The ultimate goal of our work is the development of a novel class of security proofs that we call "Human Subtlety Proofs" (HSPs). HSPs combine the unobtrusiveness of Human Observational Proofs with the interactivity of Human Interactive Proofs, which hopefully will lead to more secure interactions.




  • Work this quarter has progressed towards the implementation and validation of HSPs in a Linux system administration environment. Efforts included continued development of an environment to implement and run experiments and iteration over study design (including early feedback from the SoSL community). With ecological validity as the goal, HSP development efforts have emphasized detecting situations where user distraction or cognitive load can lead to errors in workflow. The hypothesis is that by identifying these situations and making changes to the interface to produce changes in attentional state, the likelihood of these errors will be reduced. Efforts to validate this hypothesis have been the primary focus of this quarter.