2018/19 Guest Seminars

SpeakerProfessor Adam Joinson (University of Bath)

Date/Time: 12:00, Wednesday 3rd April 2019. 

Venue: Crawford House Theatre 2.

Title: What do digital footprints reveal about people (and why we should care)? 
To what extent does our online activity reveal who we are? Recent research has demonstrated that the digital traces left by individuals as they browse and interact with others online may reveal who they are and what their interests may be. In this presentation, Adam shared the results of three reviews and meta-analyses of the evidence that digital footprints can be used to predict individual characteristics. Using language matching as a case study, he then demonstrated how subtle changes can predict social roles and personality. Finally, he discussed evidence that this knowledge can be used to influence decision making, and implications for digital security, trust, and privacy.


Speaker: Dr. Benjamin Lee (Lancaster University)

Date/Time: 13:00, Wednesday 6th February 2019

Title: Trust and the Extreme Right Digital Milieu

This lecture traces some strands of organisational thought emanating from the extreme right and considers the impact of an emerging extreme right digital milieu on trust. The extreme right has long had a problem with trust and the threat of attack or suppression has been in a key factor in how groups organise. The arrival of digital technology has increased resilience, shifting the participatory focus from easily targeted hierarchical organisations, to a more robust digital milieu. However, the declining role for organisations has removed sources of ideological authority, forcing supporters to make difficult decisions about who and what to trust. Likewise, the relative anonymity of digital activism has increased the threat from infiltration. The lecture concludes by speculating, based on contemporary examples, about some of the strategies that may be used to solve trust problems on the extreme right in the future.


Speaker: Dr. Iraklis Symeonidis (University of Luxembourg)

Date/Time: 11:00, Wednesday 23rd January 2019

Title: Analysis and design of secure and privacy-enhancing information sharing systems: the case of Facebook and car sharing

The advancement of communication technologies such as the Internet, mobile communications, wireless networks and online platforms has eased the exchange of information between individuals: it has enabled collection of large amounts of personal data to an ever-increasing rate. This talk will focus on two use cases: the interdependent privacy on Facebook and the privacy issues of car sharing systems.

First, Dr. Symeonidis presented a comprehensive analysis and countermeasures of the interdependent privacy problem on Facebook; providers of third-party applications on Facebook exploit the interdependency between users and their friends. Secondly, he presented the privacy issues in car sharing systems; owing to the massive amounts of personal information, rich information about individuals' everyday lives and habits can be extracted, enabling profiling. Finally, he presented a fully-fledged privacy-enhancing protocol (sketch) for car access provision as a solution design.


Speaker: Prof. Chris Hankin (Imperial College London)

Date: Wednesday 5th December 2018

Title: CNI and Cyber Security

This talk reviewed the current cyber threat landscape in critical national infrastructure and cyber-physical systems more generally.  He described the activity of the Research Institute in Trustworthy Inter-connected Cyber-physical Systems (RITICS).  The talk then presented work on the use of Deep Learning in anomaly detection and some recent results on evasion attacks.


Speaker: Dr. Lucas Cordeiro (University of Manchester)

Date: Wednesday 26th November 2018

Title: Automated Software Verification and Synthesis in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

In the last two decades, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been used in various military and civil applications, such as armed attacks, training targets, aerial surveillance, journalism, and entertainment. Recent studies show that the impact of UAVs on the UK economy can lead to GBP 42bn increase in  UK gross domestic product and 628,000 jobs in the UAVs economy [1]. As a result, dependency on the correct operation of UAVs is rapidly growing, but their structures are becoming more and more complex and now require multi-core processors with scalable shared memory, signal-processing pipelines, and sophisticated software modules, to meet increasing computational power, flexibility demands, and adaptation to new scenarios and behaviours. In this talk, Lucas gave an overview of automated software verification and synthesis techniques and then discuss about challenges, problems, and recent advances to ensure safety and security regarding UAVs. Reliability issues, in the development of UAVs, are then considered, as a prominent verification and synthesis application for achieving a correct-by-construction design.


Speaker: Prof. Debi Ashenden (University of Southampton)

Date: Wednesday 3rd October 2018

Title: Social Loafing: Why Good People Breach Security And What To Do About It

There is a category of insider threat that has so far been under explored. This is the ‘everyday insider threat’, where people are committing small breaches of security policy, are aware that they are doing it but are not intending it to have a detrimental effect on the organisation. Motivations for these actions have, until now, not been explored in detail and yet the impact of these small breaches can have a disproportionate impact on an organisation.

This talk explored how current security research relies both explicitly and implicitly on rational choice models to explain employee behaviour. An examination of rational choice theory and behaviour change demonstrates that while this delivers effective interventions in some instances there is significant evidence to demonstrate exceptions to the applicability of the theory. The talk will move on to examine social loafing (including the sucker effect and the free rider effect) as an explanation for the everyday insider threat. Finally, a range of recommendations for interventions will be identified that focus on identifiability, feedback and evaluation; personal involvement of employees; social facilitation and group cohesiveness and morals, ethics and self concept maintenance.


Speaker: Michael Chertoff

Date: Tuesday 24th April 2018

Title: Security in the digital age: technology, privacy, and legal regulation

Michael Chertoff’s talk explored the relationship between the legal and ethical realms of cyber security as well as the roles of government and civil society. In seeking to defend digital data and connected systems, and deter those who would attack them, what is the balance between technical, behavioural and regulatory measures? How can citizens, industry, and governments manage cyber security risks appropriately? How can we develop trusted and trustworthy digital systems, protect privacy, and act effectively to deter and prosecute those who seek to exploit data or subvert digital systems for malicious ends?

From 2005-2009 Mr Chertoff was Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He has also served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and spent more than a decade as a federal prosecutor, investigating and prosecuting cases of political corruption, organised crime, corporate fraud and terrorism, including the investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.