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5th International Symposium on Human Aspects of Information Security and Assurance (HAISA 2011)
Title: Managing Phishing Emails: A Scenario-Based Experiment
Author(s): Malcolm Pattinson, Cate Jerram, Kathryn Parsons, Agata McCormac, Marcus Butavicius
Keywords: Information security (InfoSec), Information risk, Phishing, Social engineering, Human behaviour
Abstract: In this paper, the authors report on a collaborative research project that investigates how people respond to phishing emails compared to genuine emails and what factors contribute to this behaviour. A scenario-based, role-play experiment was conducted by administering a web-based questionnaire via a series of seminars facilitated by a member of the research team. This questionnaire asked each of the 117 participants to evaluate 50 emails – half that were genuine and half that were phishing emails. In addition, demographic, personality and cognitive information was elicited from each participant. The major findings of this preliminary investigation indicate that personal characteristics such as familiarity with computers, extraversion, openness and cognitive impulsivity each have a significant positive effect on an email user’s response to phishing emails.
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