Threats and Trust in Cyberspace Conference

National Science and Engineering Week 2011 Great North Museum: Hancock 15th March 2011

The Centre for Cybercrime and Computer Security at Newcastle University have held two events, both of which attracted an audience of over 100 people.

The latest event - Threats and Trust in Cyberspace - took place at the Great North Museum: Hancock.

Social Networking technologies such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are a popular tool for communication in all walks of life. They can help to stay in touch with friends, improve career opportunities, improve the communication within your company, or are thought of as the backbone for future government.

But there are dangers and limitations in using these Social Networking technologies, as witnessed by various news stories in the past years. In this one-day event we discussed these issues from various perspectives, asking the question: can businesses, government and individuals trust these technologies?

The day's discussions were not limited to traditional social networking technologies such as Facebook, but looked more generally at basing social structures and interactions on technology, for instance in future government. What are the main threats for individuals and society in using Internet-based networking services, and what are researchers doing to alleviate the potential problems?

The cybercrime event targeted industry and government professionals and researchers from many disciplines, including computing, social science, law, and psychology.

At this event demonstrations ran in parallel with our invited speakers, further details are available below.

 

Demonstrations

These demonstrations ran throughout the day:

Draw a Secret - Haryani Zakaria and Paul Dunphy. Why are passwords or PINs always words or numbers - why not a picture you can draw? We showed several graphical passwords that are easy to remember but hard to copy by a stranger watching over your shoulder.

Contactless Credit Card Skimming - Martin Emms. The Banks and Credit Card companies are introducing contactless credit cards into the UK, many people are already carrying them without realising. We demonstrated how easy it is to retrieve the account information from contactless cards, without having to touch the card.

Keystroke Dynamics - Rachel Phillips Like every individual's finger print, each person's typing is unique. The question is, can we detect who is typing and could the police use this to identify criminals? We showed that with only a few samples a computer programme can recognise your typing.

Spam and CAPTCHAs - Ahmad Salah El Ahmad. When you need to set up a digital registration you will often be asked to read a distorted word that you then must type in correctly. These difficult to read words are called CAPTCHAs. Why do you need to do this? And can a computer decipher these CAPTCHAs the way you can?

User Managed Access - Maciej Machulak, Lukasz Moren and Maciej Wolniak Many of us have provided personal information to Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, without giving it much thought. But this could be very dangerous. We showed you alternative internet services that allow you to retain control over your own data, wherever it lives on the web.

Phishing and Identity Theft - Su-Yang Yu. Identity thieves try to trick you into giving away your personal data. They do this by showing you a web page that looks like a genuine page from your bank, or school, but the data you supply is collected by the identity thieves. This demo showed you how it is done, and allowed you to play games that explain how to protect yourself.