Cognitive Hacking

2725 WordsJun 21, 200611 Pages
In this paper, we define a category of computer security exploits called "cognitive hacking." Loosely speaking, cognitive hacking refers to a computer or information system attack that relies on changing human users ' perceptions and corresponding behaviors in order to be successful. This is in contrast to denial of service (DOS) and other kinds of well-known attacks that operate solely within the computer and network infrastructure. Several cognitive hacking techniques are illustrated by example and a taxonomy for these types of attacks is developed. Technologies for preventing and mitigating the effects of cognitive hacking attacks are proposed as well. Table of Contents Page I. Introduction and Background 1 II.…show more content…
Language, or more generally communication, is used by one person to influence another. Propaganda has long been used by governments, or by other groups, particularly in time of war, to influence populations [7, 11, 12, 28]. Although the message conveyed by propaganda, or other communication intended to influence, may be believed to be true by the propagator, it usually is presented in a distorted manner, so as to have maximum persuasive power, and, often, is deliberately misleading, or untrue. Propaganda is a form of perception management. Other types of perception management include psychological operations in warfare [17], consumer fraud, and advertising [7]. Perception Management As noted by many authors, e.g. [7, 9, 12], perception management is pervasive in contemporary society. Its manifestation on the internet is one aspect of the broader phenomenon. Not all perception management is negative, e.g., education can be considered a form of perception management, nor is all use of perception management on the Internet cognitive hacking (see definition below). Clearly the line between commercial uses of the internet such as advertising, which would not be considered as cognitive hacking, and manipulation of stock prices by the posting of misinformation in news groups, which would be so considered, is a difficult one to distinguish. Computer Security Taxonomies In 1981 Landwehr provided a discussion of

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