Sijie Zhuo (University of Auckland), Robert Biddle (University of Auckland and Carleton University, Ottawa), Lucas Betts, Nalin Asanka Gamagedara Arachchilage, Yun Sing Koh, Danielle Lottridge, Giovanni Russello (University of Auckland)

Phishing is when social engineering is used to deceive a person into sharing sensitive information or downloading malware. Research on phishing susceptibility has focused on personality traits, demographics, and design factors related to the presentation of phishing. There is very little research on how a person’s state of mind might impact outcomes of phishing attacks. We conducted a scenario-based in-lab experiment with 26 participants to examine whether workload affects risky cybersecurity behaviours. Participants were tasked to manage 45 emails for 30 minutes, which included 4 phishing emails. We found that, under high workload, participants had higher physiological arousal and longer fixations, and spent half as much time reading email compared to low workload. There was no main effect for workload on phishing clicking, however a post-hoc analysis revealed that participants were more likely to click on task-relevant phishing emails compared to non-relevant phishing emails during high workload whereas there was no difference during low workload. We discuss the implications of state of mind and attention related to risky cybersecurity behaviour.

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Zhengyi Li (Indiana University Bloomington), Xiaojing Liao (Indiana University Bloomington)

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Shakthidhar Reddy Gopavaram (Indiana University), Jayati Dev (Indiana University), Marthie Grobler (CSIRO’s Data61), DongInn Kim (Indiana University), Sanchari Das (University of Denver), L. Jean Camp (Indiana University)

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Beomjin Jin (Sungkyunkwan University), Eunsoo Kim (Sungkyunkwan University), Hyunwoo Lee (KENTECH), Elisa Bertino (Purdue University), Doowon Kim (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), Hyoungshick Kim (Sungkyunkwan University)

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Zekun Cai (Penn State University), Aiping Xiong (Penn State University)

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