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Identifying network attacks from a social perspective

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3 Author(s)
Hopper, L. ; Cyber Defense Lab., Western Kentucky Univ., Bowling Green, KY, USA ; Hopper, R. ; Womble, P.

The Cyber Defense Laboratory at Western Kentucky University has established a multidisciplinary research team in order to gain a better understanding of the motives and methods of hackers. This involves the collaboration of computer scientists, network analysts, sociologists, and anthropologists. Most research along these lines to date has been performed by technical experts and has failed to consider social research and methods. On the other hand, social theorists tend to group network attacks with other forms of terrorism. We believe that network intrusions are sufficiently different from other forms of terrorism to warrant their own study. This research is innovative in both the way it defines network attacks as well as in the fusion of data from diverse fields of research. By bringing the strengths of social and technical research together, a clearer picture of hackers will emerge. This has implications for government and law enforcement as well as network security. A literature review of related research in the social sciences has been completed. Social scientists with experience in the identified sub-fields were brought onto the team and their results will then be integrated into the Cyber Defense Lab's network security testbed. Using proven social research methods, team members will gain an understanding of the motives of hackers, the methods of attack, communication of ideas, learning resources and strategies, and any other aspects that may be revealed. This paper will discuss the results to date of this ongoing project.

Published in:

Technologies for Homeland Security, 2009. HST '09. IEEE Conference on

Date of Conference:

11-12 May 2009

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