PERSUADED: Fighting Social Engineering Attacks with a Serious Game

  • Dina Aladawy
  • Kristian Beckers
  • Sebastian PapeEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11033)


Social engineering is the clever manipulation of the human element to acquire information assets. While technical security of most critical systems is high, the systems remain vulnerable to attacks from social engineers. The challenge in defeating social engineering is that it is a deceptive process that exploits human beings. Methods employed in social engineering do not differ much from those used to perform traditional fraud. This implies the applicability of defense mechanisms against the latter to the context of social engineering. Taking this problem into consideration, we designed a serious game that trains people against social engineering using defense mechanisms of social psychology. The results of our empirical evaluation of the game indicate that the game is able to raise awareness for social engineering in an entertaining way.


Security controls Social psychology Gamification 



This research has been partially supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research Germany (BMBF) with project grant number 16KIS0240.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dina Aladawy
    • 1
  • Kristian Beckers
    • 1
    • 3
  • Sebastian Pape
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of InformaticsTechnische Universität München (TUM)GarchingGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Economics and Business AdministrationGoethe University FrankfurtFrankfurt am MainGermany
  3. 3.Social Engineering Academy (SEA) GmbHFrankfurt am MainGermany

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