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MSc Thesis Proposal of Rui Xu:"Gamification Platform for Social Engineering Training and Awareness "

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - 15:00 to 16:30


The School of Computer Science is pleased to present… 

MSc Thesis Proposal by: Rui Xu 

Date: Wednesday November 11th, 2020 
Time:  3:00 pm -4:30 pm 
Passcode: If you are interested in attending this MSc Proposal, please contact the Graduate Secretary at to obtain the Passcode to the event.


Social engineering (SE) is an attacker technique to manipulate and deceive users to access or gain privileged information. Today, 98% of cyber-attacks rely on SE techniques. The SE attacks are considered one of the biggest threats to information security nowadays. Human beings are most susceptible to social engineering attacks and suffer serious losses. Therefore, it is essential to use effective measures to defend against social engineering attacks. Training is a potentially effective defence method to enhance people's awareness of social engineering attacks, especially training through game playing or educational games. Gamification is the use of game elements and game design techniques in non-game concepts. Using gamification can make training more interesting and encourage people to pay more attention to SE awareness training. In this research, we investigate the current limitations of social engineering attack awareness and training methods. We discuss why it is important to train and educate users to be able to stop possible social engineering attacks. Finally, we focus on defining a process to gamify and automate SE training and awareness, by developing a gamification platform for anti-social engineering attacks awareness and training. It can launch social engineering attacks and provide educational information to users to enhance their defence awareness. Meanwhile, users can also share their social engineering attacks experience on the platform.  We believe applying gamification in SE awareness and training, can improve the current state-of-the-art in cybersecurity training and awareness. 
Keywords: Social Engineering Attacks, Gamification, Phishing, Awareness, Training. 

Thesis Committee: 

Internal Reader: Dr. Jianguo Lu 
External Reader: Dr. Eunsik Kim 
Advisor(s): Dr. Sherif Saad Ahmed, Dr. Luis Rueda 

MSc Thesis Proposal Announcement

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