Rethinking Human Factors for Online Security: Gang Wang, Virginia Tech

Dartmouth Events

Rethinking Human Factors for Online Security: Gang Wang, Virginia Tech

Human factors are playing a critical role in the security of today's online systems.

Monday, February 25, 2019
Kemeny 006
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Abstract:  Human factors are playing a critical role in the security of today’s online systems. On one hand, human factors are still a weak link, constantly exploited by attackers to launch serious attacks. On the other hand, human (expert) intelligence is instrumental in detecting and combating new threats (e.g., zero-days) that automated methods such as machine learning often fail to capture.

In this talk, I will describe our efforts to improve security through human augmentation. The goal is twofold: (1) to understand and defend against new attacks that target users and user-facing systems, and (2) to integrate human intelligence to construct more robust security defenses. First, I will describe our recent investigation of a new class of attacks against road navigation systems via GPS spoofing. Through empirical measurements and user studies, I will illustrate how advanced attackers can succeed even in the presence of human drivers. Second, I will share our recent results on improving the trust and robustness of security systems by generating "human-interpretable" outputs. By building an explanation system for deep learning based security applications, we allow security analysts to diagnose system errors and patch model weaknesses. Finally, I conclude by highlighting my future plans of using data-driven approaches to augmenting security defenses for both humans and algorithms.

Bio:  Gang Wang is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. He obtained his Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara in 2016, and a B.E. from Tsinghua University in 2010. His research focuses on human (user) aspects of Internet security. His work takes a data-driven approach to addressing emerging security threats in massive communication systems (social networks, email services), mobile applications, crowdsourcing systems, and enterprise networks. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award (2018), Google Faculty Research Award (2017), ACM CCS Outstanding Paper Award (2018), and SIGMETRICS Best Practical Paper Award (2013). His research has appeared in a diverse set of top-tier venues in Security, Measurement, and HCI. His projects have been covered by media outlets such as MIT Technology Review, The New York Times, Boston Globe, CNN, and New Scientist.

For more information, contact:
Sandra Hall

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.