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A taxonomy of attacks and a survey of defence mechanisms for semantic social engineering attacks

A taxonomy of attacks and a survey of defence mechanisms for semantic social engineering attacks

Heartfield, Ryan and Loukas, George (2016) A taxonomy of attacks and a survey of defence mechanisms for semantic social engineering attacks. ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR), 48 (3):37. ISSN 0360-0300 (Print), 1557-7341 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1145/2835375)

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Abstract

Social engineering is used as an umbrella term for a broad spectrum of computer exploitations that employ a variety of attack vectors and strategies to psychologically manipulate a user. Semantic attacks are the specific type of social engineering attacks that bypass technical defences by actively manipulating object characteristics, such as platform or system applications, to deceive rather than directly attack the user. Commonly observed examples include obfuscated URLs, phishing emails, drive-by downloads, spoofed web- sites and scareware to name a few. This paper presents a taxonomy of semantic attacks, as well as a survey of applicable defences. By contrasting the threat landscape and the associated mitigation techniques in a single comparative matrix, we identify the areas where further research can be particularly beneficial.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Semantic social engineering, phishing, security
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Internet of Things and Security (ISEC)
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Department of Computing & Information Systems
Last Modified: 18 May 2019 10:02
Selected for GREAT 2016: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 5
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/15016

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