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Chakraborty, Arpan, Harrison, Brent, Yang, Pu, Roberts, David, St. Amant, Robert.  2014.  Exploring Key-level Analytics for Computational Modeling of Typing Behavior. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :34:1–34:2.

Typing is a human activity that can be affected by a number of situational and task-specific factors. Changes in typing behavior resulting from the manipulation of such factors can be predictably observed through key-level input analytics. Here we present a study designed to explore these relationships. Participants play a typing game in which letter composition, word length and number of words appearing together are varied across levels. Inter-keystroke timings and other higher order statistics (such as bursts and pauses), as well as typing strategies, are analyzed from game logs to find the best set of metrics that quantify the effect that different experimental factors have on observable metrics. Beyond task-specific factors, we also study the effects of habituation by recording changes in performance with practice. Currently a work in progress, this research aims at developing a predictive model of human typing. We believe this insight can lead to the development of novel security proofs for interactive systems that can be deployed on existing infrastructure with minimal overhead. Possible applications of such predictive capabilities include anomalous behavior detection, authentication using typing signatures, bot detection using word challenges etc.

Yang, Wei, Xiao, Xusheng, Pandita, Rahul, Enck, William, Xie, Tao.  2014.  Improving Mobile Application Security via Bridging User Expectations and Application Behaviors. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :32:1–32:2.

To keep malware out of mobile application markets, existing techniques analyze the security aspects of application behaviors and summarize patterns of these security aspects to determine what applications do. However, user expectations (reflected via user perception in combination with user judgment) are often not incorporated into such analysis to determine whether application behaviors are within user expectations. This poster presents our recent work on bridging the semantic gap between user perceptions of the application behaviors and the actual application behaviors.

Layman, Lucas, Diffo, Sylvain David, Zazworka, Nico.  2014.  Human Factors in Webserver Log File Analysis: A Controlled Experiment on Investigating Malicious Activity. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :9:1–9:11.

While automated methods are the first line of defense for detecting attacks on webservers, a human agent is required to understand the attacker's intent and the attack process. The goal of this research is to understand the value of various log fields and the cognitive processes by which log information is grouped, searched, and correlated. Such knowledge will enable the development of human-focused log file investigation technologies. We performed controlled experiments with 65 subjects (IT professionals and novices) who investigated excerpts from six webserver log files. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered to: 1) analyze subject accuracy in identifying malicious activity; 2) identify the most useful pieces of log file information; and 3) understand the techniques and strategies used by subjects to process the information. Statistically significant effects were observed in the accuracy of identifying attacks and time taken depending on the type of attack. Systematic differences were also observed in the log fields used by high-performing and low-performing groups. The findings include: 1) new insights into how specific log data fields are used to effectively assess potentially malicious activity; 2) obfuscating factors in log data from a human cognitive perspective; and 3) practical implications for tools to support log file investigations.

Tembe, Rucha, Zielinska, Olga, Liu, Yuqi, Hong, Kyung Wha, Murphy-Hill, Emerson, Mayhorn, Chris, Ge, Xi.  2014.  Phishing in International Waters: Exploring Cross-national Differences in Phishing Conceptualizations Between Chinese, Indian and American Samples. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :8:1–8:7.

One hundred-sixty four participants from the United States, India and China completed a survey designed to assess past phishing experiences and whether they engaged in certain online safety practices (e.g., reading a privacy policy). The study investigated participants' reported agreement regarding the characteristics of phishing attacks, types of media where phishing occurs and the consequences of phishing. A multivariate analysis of covariance indicated that there were significant differences in agreement regarding phishing characteristics, phishing consequences and types of media where phishing occurs for these three nationalities. Chronological age and education did not influence the agreement ratings; therefore, the samples were demographically equivalent with regards to these variables. A logistic regression analysis was conducted to analyze the categorical variables and nationality data. Results based on self-report data indicated that (1) Indians were more likely to be phished than Americans, (2) Americans took protective actions more frequently than Indians by destroying old documents, and (3) Americans were more likely to notice the "padlock" security icon than either Indian or Chinese respondents. The potential implications of these results are discussed in terms of designing culturally sensitive anti-phishing solutions.

Rao, Ashwini, Hibshi, Hanan, Breaux, Travis, Lehker, Jean-Michel, Niu, Jianwei.  2014.  Less is More?: Investigating the Role of Examples in Security Studies Using Analogical Transfer Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :7:1–7:12.

Information system developers and administrators often overlook critical security requirements and best practices. This may be due to lack of tools and techniques that allow practitioners to tailor security knowledge to their particular context. In order to explore the impact of new security methods, we must improve our ability to study the impact of security tools and methods on software and system development. In this paper, we present early findings of an experiment to assess the extent to which the number and type of examples used in security training stimuli can impact security problem solving. To motivate this research, we formulate hypotheses from analogical transfer theory in psychology. The independent variables include number of problem surfaces and schemas, and the dependent variable is the answer accuracy. Our study results do not show a statistically significant difference in performance when the number and types of examples are varied. We discuss the limitations, threats to validity and opportunities for future studies in this area.