Mentor / Lab:
Dr. Melissa Dark
Specific Research Area / Project:
Human factors in anti-phishing
Phishing attacks use electronic means (usually e-mail) targeted at users in order to convince them to provide sensitive information to the attacker. In one of the most well-known phishing scams, an attacker masquerades as a Nigerian prince needing assistance moving a large sum of money in an attempt to have users wire small amounts of money to the attackers, or provide their bank account information. Since the advent of this attack, phishing has grown as a method of information systems exploitation, and attackers have become increasingly sophisticated in their attack methods.
Technical solutions that block phishing attempts before they get to the user are an important component of anti-phishing efforts, but these soutions are far from perfect. As a result, users that can recongnize and properly handle phishing attempts are also extremely important to defeating phishing attacks. My current research focuses on making users more effective in recognizing and mitigating phishing attacks.
My path to the Interdisciplinary Information Security program at Purdue includes Fortune 500 consulting, running small businesses, and time spent as an EMT, Paramedic, and medic educator. This breadth of experience helps me to see information security problems from several perspectives. I hope to use my work experience in combination with new knowledge acquired at Purdue to create flexible, durable, and long-lasting solutions to information security problems through research.