Global Security, Safety and Sustainability & e-Democracy. 7th International and 4th e-Democracy, Joint Conferences, ICGS3/e-Democracy 2011, Thessaloniki, Greece, August 24-26, 2011, Revised Selected Papers

Research Article

In the Hacker’s Eye: The Neurophysiology of a Computer Hacker

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1007/978-3-642-33448-1_16,
        author={Wael Khalifa and Kenneth Revett and Abdel-Badeeh Salem},
        title={In the Hacker’s Eye: The Neurophysiology of a Computer Hacker},
        proceedings={Global Security, Safety and Sustainability \& e-Democracy. 7th International and 4th e-Democracy, Joint Conferences, ICGS3/e-Democracy 2011, Thessaloniki, Greece, August 24-26, 2011, Revised Selected Papers},
        proceedings_a={ICGS3 \& E-DEMOCRACY},
        year={2012},
        month={10},
        keywords={affective computing biometrics electroencephalography heart rate variability neurophysiological computing password hacking},
        doi={10.1007/978-3-642-33448-1_16}
    }
    
  • Wael Khalifa
    Kenneth Revett
    Abdel-Badeeh Salem
    Year: 2012
    In the Hacker’s Eye: The Neurophysiology of a Computer Hacker
    ICGS3 & E-DEMOCRACY
    Springer
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-33448-1_16
Wael Khalifa1,*, Kenneth Revett2,*, Abdel-Badeeh Salem1,*
  • 1: Ain Shams University
  • 2: British University in Egypt
*Contact email: wael.khalifa@asunet.shams.edu.eg, ken.revett@bue.edu.eg, absalem@asunet.shams.edu.eg

Abstract

This paper presents data from a preliminary investigation on the neurophysiological changes that occur when a person attempts to crack a password. A password cracking scenario was provided to a small cohort of university students and while they were attempting to crack into the password, their EEG was recorded. The results indicate that the overall frontal lobe power (at electrode position F7) was significantly different during cracking as opposed to typing alone. Further, the principal visual area (O1 and O2 electrodes) electrodes displayed much more variability in the cracking scenario than in the transcriptional typing scenario. Further, the anterior frontal electrodes displayed much higher activation than in the transcriptional typing task. These results suggest that using EEG recording alone, a unique signature can be acquired in real-time which provides significant and suggestive evidence that the user is not merely typing – that they may be trying to crack into the system.