A Social Mechanism for Supporting Home Computer Security

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Executive Summary

Hackers have learned to leverage the enormous number of poorly protected home computers by turning them into a large distributed system (known as a botnet), making home computers an important frontier for security research. They present special problems: owners are unsophisticated, and usage profiles are varied making onesize-fits-all firewall policies ineffective. The paper proposes a social firewall that collects security decisions and both user and usage characteristics, and provides users with personalized information to assist with allow/deny recommendations. To succeed, a social firewall must deal with at least three user behavior issues: why contribute private information? why make effort to provide quality information? and, how to prevent manipulation by adversaries?

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