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The success of many attacks on computer systems can be traced back to the security engineers not understanding the psychology of the system users they meant to protect. It examined a variety of scams and "Short Cons" that were investigated, documented and recreated for the BBC TV programme The Real Hustle and extract from them some general principles about the behavioural patterns of victims that hustlers typically exploit. An awareness of these patterns can and should inspire the design of better systems security. Experience shows that real-world systems remain vulnerable to attack even though they are protected by a variety of technical security safeguards.
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