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Halevi, Tzipora, Memon, Nasir, Lewis, James, Kumaraguru, Ponnurangam, Arora, Sumit, Dagar, Nikita, Aloul, Fadi, Chen, Jay.  2016.  Cultural and Psychological Factors in Cyber-security. Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Information Integration and Web-based Applications and Services. :318–324.

Increasing cyber-security presents an ongoing challenge to security professionals. Research continuously suggests that online users are a weak link in information security. This research explores the relationship between cyber-security and cultural, personality and demographic variables. This study was conducted in four different countries and presents a multi-cultural view of cyber-security. In particular, it looks at how behavior, self-efficacy and privacy attitude are affected by culture compared to other psychological and demographics variables (such as gender and computer expertise). It also examines what kind of data people tend to share online and how culture affects these choices. This work supports the idea of developing personality based UI design to increase users' cyber-security. Its results show that certain personality traits affect the user cyber-security related behavior across different cultures, which further reinforces their contribution compared to cultural effects.

Gupta, Srishti, Gupta, Payas, Ahamad, Mustaque, Kumaraguru, Ponnurangam.  2016.  Exploiting Phone Numbers and Cross-Application Features in Targeted Mobile Attacks. Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Security and Privacy in Smartphones and Mobile Devices. :73–82.

Smartphones have fueled a shift in the way we communicate with each other via Instant Messaging. With the convergence of Internet and telephony, new Over-The-Top (OTT) messaging applications (e.g., WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat etc.) have emerged as an important means of communication for millions of users. These applications use phone numbers as the only means of authentication and are becoming an attractive medium for attackers to deliver spam and carry out more targeted attacks. The universal reach of telephony along with its past trusted nature makes phone numbers attractive identifiers for reaching potential attack targets. In this paper, we explore the feasibility, automation, and scalability of a variety of targeted attacks that can be carried out by abusing phone numbers. These attacks can be carried out on different channels viz. OTT messaging applications, voice, e-mail, or SMS. We demonstrate a novel system that takes a phone number as an input, leverages information from applications like Truecaller and Facebook about the victim and his / her social network, checks the presence of phone number's owner (victim) on the attack channel (OTT messaging applications, voice, e-mail, or SMS), and finally targets the victim on the chosen attack channel. As a proof of concept, we enumerated through a random pool of 1.16 million phone numbers and demonstrated that targeted attacks could be crafted against the owners of 255,873 phone numbers by exploiting cross-application features. Due to the significantly increased user engagement via new mediums of communication like OTT messaging applications and ease with which phone numbers allow collection of pertinent information, there is a clear need for better protection of applications that rely on phone numbers.