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Cultural and Computer Network Attack (CNA) Behaviors (44Con, London)

September 2013 Presentation
Char Sample

In this presentation, Char Sample and Dave Barnett discuss Hofstede's cultural dimension framework and its operationalized data.


Software Engineering Institute


Computer Network Attack (CNA) attribution presents an ongoing challenge for information security professionals. The distributed nature of the Internet combined with the use of anonymizing technologies contributes to making the problem worse. What is needed is a new way to approach this problem, one that is technology independent. Culture, “software of the mind” or “mental programming” offers a way to accomplish this goal of attribution and is technology independent. Both conscious and unconscious thoughts are culturally influenced, this influence is so pervasive in thought, that automatic thought has cultural traces. Technology usage varies by culture, so the logical extension would imply that culture influences CNAs.

This workshop discusses Hofstede’s cultural dimension framework and the operationalized data from that framework that made this study possible. Next the workshop discusses the quantitative research used to test the hypothesis that Culture influences CNA behaviors, followed by the results. Finally, a discussion of post-doc research topics in this area follows.

The research findings will be discussed in terms of what was found AND what was observed, along with what these findings mean in terms of CNA attribution, CNO activities and how this research can be applied to assist in understanding attackers beyond the IP address and into the automatic processes of the human mind.