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									             Using Neuroscience to Explain User Responses to Malware Warnings                                                                                                                                                Bonnie Anderson

                                 Bonnie               Anthony
                                                           Anderson,1                   James    Vance1, Brock                  Kirwan, 2                   Hansen1

                         Department of Information Systems, 1 Department of Psychology,2 Brigham Young University
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Tony Vance

•  Malicious software (or malware) constitutes a                                                                                                                                                     Figure 1: Grand average
                                                                                                                                                                                                     ERP waveforms at the Cz
serious threat to information security of                                                                                                                                                            and Pz electrode sites. At the
organizations.                                                                                                                                                                                       Cz electrode site, women had
•  There  is  a  need  to  understand  how  malware                                                                                                                                                  greater amplitudes for the
                                                                                                                                                                                                     P300 for both safe websites
warnings can be made more effective to alert end                                                                                                                                                     and the warning screen. The
users of potential threats.                                                                                                                                                                          P300 amplitude was
                                                                                                                                                                                                     enhanced for the warning
 •Our research will look at the neuroscience                                                                                                                                                         screen across genders at
associated  with  subjects’  identification,  recall,  and                                                                                                                                           both electrode sites.
reaction to malware warnings.

             Preliminary Study
•  We performed a NeuroIS study, employing                          1-Motivation and risk aversion                                                                                                                    Figure 2:
electroencephalography (EEG) and measuring                     •  We  will  examine  behavioral economics insights to                                                                                                 al distribution
the P300 wave to examine whether men and                       why users disregard warnings.                                                                                                                          of ERP
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      potentials for
women process malware warnings in the brain.                   •  Participants will be required to perform a computer-                                                                                                the 300-600
•  P300  is  a  measurement  of  voltage  changes              based classification task.                                                                                                                             ms post-
within the brain associated with attention and                 •  Periodic  malware  warning  screens  will  interrupt  the                                                                                           stimulus
memory operations                                              task.                                                                                                                                                  There was a
•  Stronger  measurements  relating  to  novel                 •  The  quantity  of  malware  warning  screens  will  be                                                                                              centrally
                                                               adaptive based on behavior.                                                                                                                            distributed
stimuli.                                                                                                                                                                                                              positivity at
Results                                                        •  Consequences  of  ignoring  the  warnings  may  be                                                                                                  300ms post-
                                                               simulated.                                                                                                                                             stimulus
•  H1: P300 is higher for all participants when                                                                                                                                                                       onset.
viewing malware warning screenshots than when                  •  Motivation  and  risk  aversion  will  be  evaluated.
viewing legitimate website screenshots.
H2: P300 is higher for women than for men when
viewing malware warning screenshots when                                                                                                                              3- Neuroscience and security
examining the Cz region, not supported with Pz                                                                                                                  •  Develop and perform fMRI studies examining areas
region.                                                         2-Memory and memetics regarding                                                                 of the brain associated with fear, risk, trust.
H3: P300 latency was not slower for women or                        malware warning design                                                                      •  Participants  will  be  given  tasks  to  complete  while  in  
                                                               •  We  will  examine  color, animation, and a variety of                                         an fMRI machine.
H4: P300 did not vary when viewing red malware
                                                               other design characteristics and evaluate                                                        •  Malware  warnings  will interrupt the tasks.
warning screenshots than when viewing
grayscale malware warning screenshots. Nor                     memorability.                                                                                    •  Blood  flow  in  the  brain  will  show  areas  of  activity.
when viewing red legitimate website screenshots                •  We  will  use  eye-tracking equipment to track                                                •  We  will  look  specifically  at  the  areas  of  the  brain  
than when viewing non-red legitimate website                   participants’  eye  movements.                                                                   associated with fear, risk, trust.

             NSF Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace
             Inaugural Principal Investigator Meeting                Meet the principal investigators! Place your                           Post-its®     here!
             27-29 November 2012
             National Harbor, MD                                                                                                   Our gratitude to research assistants Dixon Brown, David Eargle, Lee J Hinkle, and Arthur Weagel

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