In the Hacker’s Eye: The Neurophysiology of a Computer Hacker

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 99)


This paper presents data from a preliminary investigation on the neurophysiological changes that occur when a person attempts to crack a password. A password cracking scenario was provided to a small cohort of university students and while they were attempting to crack into the password, their EEG was recorded. The results indicate that the overall frontal lobe power (at electrode position F7) was significantly different during cracking as opposed to typing alone. Further, the principal visual area (O1 and O2 electrodes) electrodes displayed much more variability in the cracking scenario than in the transcriptional typing scenario. Further, the anterior frontal electrodes displayed much higher activation than in the transcriptional typing task. These results suggest that using EEG recording alone, a unique signature can be acquired in real-time which provides significant and suggestive evidence that the user is not merely typing – that they may be trying to crack into the system.


affective computing biometrics electroencephalography heart rate variability neurophysiological computing password hacking 


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Science, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Computer and Information ScienceAin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Faculty of Informatics and Computer ScienceBritish University in EgyptEl Sherouk CityEgypt

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