A Social Mechanism for Supporting Home Computer Security

Workshop on Information System Economics (WISE)

Posted: 1 Apr 2009 Last revised: 9 Jun 2009

See all articles by Rick Wash

Rick Wash

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Information

Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason

UC Berkeley; University of Michigan

Date Written: December 13, 2008

Abstract

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. We propose 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? We sketch an incentive - centered design approach to each problem. We provide an economic model and some analytic results for a solution to the fundamental problem: why contribute? We show that an excludable public goods mechanism can achieve a better outcome than a system without social motivators.

Keywords: information security, incentive centered design, mechanism design, botnet, computer security, social computing

Suggested Citation

Wash, Richard and MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey K., A Social Mechanism for Supporting Home Computer Security (December 13, 2008). Workshop on Information System Economics (WISE), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1371640

Richard Wash

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Information ( email )

304 West Hall
550 East University
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1092
United States

Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason (Contact Author)

UC Berkeley ( email )

102 South Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-4600
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jeff-mason.com

University of Michigan ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1092
United States

HOME PAGE: http://http:/jeff-mason.com/

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