Deception in the cyber-world

Document Type

Book Chapter


Kluwer Academic Publishers


Security Research Institute




Originally published as: Hutchinson, W. (2015). Deception in the cyber-world In Lehto, M. & Neittaanmäki, P. (Eds.) Intelligent Systems, Control and Automation: Science and Engineering, vol 78, 97-107. Available here.


Like any other communication medium, cyber-space has been used for deception since its inception. Originally a medium that gave immediate global range to deceptive messages, it also provided a medium to contradict any deceptive message sent. Of course, messages are not necessarily true or false but convey an opinion about reality that the recipient accepts or does not. The main concern of managers of this information has been that the messages have not been corrupted by those with malevolent intent. Hence, at its simplest level the integrity of the message (in the information security sense) is the primary objective. With more complex messages the use of propaganda techniques that attempt to influence opinions are of concern. A medium such as the public Internet with its low cost of entry and ubiquitous access is ideal for this and, because of its multi-media and interactive format, gives a much better success rate that ‘conventional’ media. Cyber-space over the last few years has rapidly entered a new phase with almost universal use of mobile online devices that many individuals and organisations are becoming increasingly dependent on. In this environment two other developments have significant implications for the practice of deception which changes the degree to which it changes the relationship of machines, deception and humans. These new factors are: the development of neuroscience and its associated technologies, and networked robotics. These are examined in this chapter and the consequences for deception at the level of individuals and large groups are examined.



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Not open access