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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Hacking the Human Brain: Impact of Cybercriminals Evoking Emotion for Financial Profit
by Buttan, Divya, M.S., Utica College, 2020, 74; 28094064
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this research was to identify the impact of cybercriminals evoking human emotion for financial profit. Cybercrime is an ever-evolving field which leads to billions of dollars in annual losses. Cybercriminals conduct a variety of social engineering tactics to evoke emotions such as fear, anxiety, or happiness from a potential victim for financial profit. These tactics can lead to business email compromise schemes in which victims wire large amounts of money into accounts held by cybercriminals, a compromise of a victim’s login credentials, or forms of malware being downloaded on a victim’s device. Cybercriminals may also exploit sentiments such as trust to obtain financial proceeds under the pretense of a purported online relationship. As a result, cybercriminals may gain a foothold into a company’s network for further malicious activity such as deploying ransomware or stealing personally identifiable information for extortion. These cybercriminals may use tools such as cryptocurrency, encrypted networks, and money mules to remain financially profitable while evading law enforcement. The establishment of cybercrime-as-a-service has led to a significant increase in the prevalence and the ease with which cybercriminals can conduct sophisticated crimes without the prerequisite technical expertise. These financially incentivized cybercriminals who evoke emotion can lead to many implications for their victims: a loss of life savings or the closure of a corporate business. Victims may also experience psychological and emotional implications such as fear, anxiety, stress, anger, and sadness. Victims who experience persistent stress and a chronically activated sympathetic nervous system may also be susceptible to long-term health implications such as chronic health conditions. Some individuals who suffer victimization may experience posttraumatic growth as they enhance their lives moving forward.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Riddell, Christopher, Zambotti, Michael
Commitee: Plude, David
School: Utica College
Department: Cybersecurity
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 82/3(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Computer science, Behavioral Sciences
Keywords: COVID-19, Cybersecurity, phishing, psychoneuroimmunology, trojan
Publication Number: 28094064
ISBN: 9798672112336
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