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A Field Study on the Impact of Cryptographic Signatures and Encryption on Phishing Emails

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Speaker: Stefanie Pham
Event date: Thursday, 06 May 2021 02:30 pm - 03:30 pm

This seminar hosted by the IRiSC group with Stefanie Pham as a speaker (an MSc student in Informatics at Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich) will put the focus on emails authenticity and trustworthiness in order for a phishing attack to be successful.

In order for a phishing attack to be successful, emails need to look authentic and trustworthy. To achieve this, phishers resort to a variety of techniques, which are continuously expanded and improved. We analysed the misuse potential of signatures and encryption as features to increase the effectiveness of phishing emails. A comparative pilot study on the effect of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) signatures and encryption in phishing emails was conducted with computer-savvy as well as regular recipients. We examined the factors computer experience, signature, encryption, signature and encryption, as well as interaction between computer experience and signatures. The results indicate a misuse potential for signatures that could be exploited by attackers.

Bio of the speaker:

After graduating in 2020 with a BSc in Media Informatics and a minor in Media Design, Stefanie Pham is currently a first-year MSc student in Informatics at Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich. For her undergraduate thesis, she worked on a project at the Research Institute CODE of the Bundeswehr University Munich, which focused on the effect of signatures and encryption in phishing emails. She is interested in pursuing further research in the field of social engineering.

 

Join the seminar here!