Cognitive Hacking and Digital Government: Digital Identity

Article English OPEN
Paul Thompson (2004)
  • Publisher: International Institute of Informatics and Cybernetics
  • Journal: Journal of Systemics (issn: 1690-4524, eissn: 1690-4524)
  • Subject: website spoofing | insider misuse | computer security | computer security countermeasures | Information technology | P87-96 | T58.5-58.64 | Communication. Mass media | cognitive hacking

Recently the National Center for Digital Government held a workshop on "The Virtual Citizen: Identity, Autonomy, and Accountability: A Civic Scenario Exploration of the Role of Identity in On-Line. Discussions at the workshop focused on five scenarios for future authentication policies with respect to digital identity. The underlying technologies considered for authentication were: biometrics: cryptography, with a focus on digital signatures; secure processing/computation; and reputation systems. Most discussion at the workshop focused on issues related to authentication of users of digital government, but, as implied by the inclusion of a scenario related to ubiquitous identity theft, there was also discussion of problems related to misinformation, including cognitive hacking. Cognitive hacking refers to a computer or information system attack that relies on changing human users' perceptions and corresponding behaviors in order to succeed. This paper describes cognitive hacking, suggests countermeasures, and discusses the implications of cognitive hacking for identity in digital government. In particular, spoofing of government websites and insider misuse are considered.
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