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

Monday, September 27, 2021 - 15:00 to 17:00


The School of Computer Science is pleased to present… 

MSc Thesis Defense by: Rui Xu 

Date: Monday September 27, 2021 
Time:  3:00 pm – 5:00 pm 
Passcode: If interested in attending this event, contact the Graduate Secretary at with suffient notice before the event to obtain the passcode.


Almost every type of cybersecurity incident leverages one or more social engineering attacks. Nowadays social engineering attack is considered one of the most significant threats to individuals and organizations. It is an attacking technique that manipulates and deceives users to access or gain privileged information. Cybersecurity training is an effective defence method to enhance people's awareness of social engineering attacks, especially training through game playing or educational games. However, fewer tools can customize social engineering simulations based on user's characteristics and needs. 
Gamification is the use of game elements and game design techniques in non-game scenarios. In this thesis, we investigated the use of gamification to improve users' awareness and engagement in anti-social engineering training. We proposed a gamified social engineering platform by applying modern gamification principles to gamify the anti-social engineering training process. We conducted a study to measure the impact of gamifying anti-social engineering training. In our study, 74 subjects participated in the 20-day evaluation. 
The study results indicated that adding gamification elements can motivate users to participate in social engineering training and positively affect participants' performances on the SE training platform. The users' awareness and ability to detect social engineering attacks such as phishing attacks improve by participating in a gamified anti-social engineering training 
Keywords: Gamification, Social Engineering. Training. Awareness. Platform. 

MSc Thesis Committee: 

Internal Reader: Dr. Jianguo. Lu
External Reader: Dr. Eunsik. Kim
Advisor: Dr. Sherif. Saad, Dr. Luis. Rueda
Chair: Dr. Xiaobu Yuan

 MSc Thesis Defense Announcement


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