Can social influence be exploited to compromise security: An online experimental evaluation

Soumajyoti Sarkar, Paulo Shakarian, Mika Armenta, Danielle Sanchez, Kiran Lakkaraju

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

While social media enables users and organizations to obtain useful information about technology like software and security feature usage, it can also allow an adversary to exploit users by obtaining information from them or influencing them towards injurious decisions. Prior research indicates that security technology choices are subject to social influence and that these decisions are often influenced by the peer decisions and number of peers in a user’s network. In this study we investigated whether peer influence dictates users’ decisions by manipulating social signals from peers in an online, controlled experiment. Human participants recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk played a multi-round game in which they selected a security technology from among six of differing utilities. We observe that at the end of the game, a strategy to expose users to high quantity of peer signals reflecting suboptimal choices, in the later stages of the game successfully influences users to deviate from the optimal security technology. This strategy influences almost 1.5 times the number of users with respect to the strategy where users receive constant low quantity of similar peer signals in all rounds of the game.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019
EditorsFrancesca Spezzano, Wei Chen, Xiaokui Xiao
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages593-596
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781450368681
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 27 2019
Event11th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Aug 27 2019Aug 30 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2019 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019

Conference

Conference11th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019
CountryCanada
CityVancouver
Period8/27/198/30/19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Sociology and Political Science

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  • Cite this

    Sarkar, S., Shakarian, P., Armenta, M., Sanchez, D., & Lakkaraju, K. (2019). Can social influence be exploited to compromise security: An online experimental evaluation. In F. Spezzano, W. Chen, & X. Xiao (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2019 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019 (pp. 593-596). (Proceedings of the 2019 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/3341161.3343688