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Evil Interfaces: Violating the User Greg Conti United States Military Academy West Point, New York.

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Presentation on theme: "Evil Interfaces: Violating the User Greg Conti United States Military Academy West Point, New York."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evil Interfaces: Violating the User Greg Conti United States Military Academy West Point, New York

2 The views expressed in this presentation are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Military Academy, the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

3 In an Ideal World Interfaces... aid efficiency reduce task completion time reduce errors easy to learn and are satisfying to use

4 Evil Interfaces “Evil interfaces are deliberately malicious, often designed to mislead or trick, and act counter to the goals of the user in an adversarial relationship”

5 Not bad design...

6 The Problem is Evolving...

7 Motivators Profit –Make sales –Register software –Advertising revenue –Protect IP Brand recognition –including political candidates Disclose Information (Sick) Humor Legal Your definition of “evil” may vary

8 Attacker’s Problem Users aren’t paying attention to advertisements. “Generation MySpace is Getting Fed Up” Banner Ad Blindness Occurs on and off desktop Attacker’s solution... Evil Interfaces

9 So What? The problem is ubiquitous Minimal countermeasures exist This is a hard problem Raising awareness increases resistance Places most vulnerable user populations at risk

10 Outline A little background Threat model and attacker motivations Taxonomy Measuring evil

11 Threat Model Attacker is often designer of interface –or Third-parties able to influence interface sources of embedded content ISPs Assets: user’s time, attention, and money Environment: Problem exists everywhere. Gas stations, casinos, grocery stores, software, hardware, the web.

12 Taxonomy of Evil Usability Attention –Attract –Avoid –Demand Error Exploitation Work Deceive Manipulating Navigation Manipulating Controls

13 Attract Attention

14 Preattentive Processing Orientation Length Width Size Shape Curvature Color Spatial Positioning;jsessionid=XB1PNVUT0OMAOQSNDLOSKH0CJUNN2JVN?articleID=31400009

15 Color


17 Ads Inline With Content

18 Crowding Out Content

19 Autoplay Video & Audio This is a limited time offer so act now contrast this with people who play music when you visit their site

20 Motion (jitter) Demo

21 Animation (hover ads)

22 Multiple Animations

23 Make it Egregious Demo

24 Avoid Attention

25 Subtle

26 We don’t want you to read the policy

27 Constrained Viewing of Content 10 Pages

28 Demand Attention

29 Random Updates

30 Take a Survey (We Value Your Opinion)

31 Advertisement Splash Screens (Interstitial)

32 Insert Ad before playing

33 Exploit Errors

34 Mistyped Movie Name What would you like to have happen? a. see a list of movies with similar names b. stare at a spiked animated blowfish

35 Capture Errors “a type of slip where a more frequent and more practiced behavior takes place when a similar, but less familiar, action was intended. ”

36 Mistyped URL

37 Misplaced Clicks

38 Make the User Work

39 Pay With Time

40 Complete CAPTCHAs

41 Leave trash around From an iTunes update, you only had the option to install the update and Quick Time

42 Bad Defaults / No unselect all

43 Deceive

44 Fake (Text) Hyperlinks

45 Fake Forms

46 Bait and Switch

47 Make Advertisement Look Like Content

48 Spoof YouTube Video Links

49 Be Friendly

50 Manipulate Navigation

51 Rollover Minefield (pseudo-hyperlink)

52 Rollover Minefield (checkboxes)

53 Buried Landmines

54 Block Travel in Virtual Worlds

55 Hidden Goals

56 Dead End Trails

57 (Near) Infinite Trail

58 Broken Shortcuts

59 Manipulate Controls

60 Windows Key - Marketing

61 Disable Controls Back button Right click Fast forward

62 Turn Menu’s Into Advertisements

63 Sundry

64 Threaten

65 Confuse

66 Net Neutrality Under Fire

67 Measuring Evil

68 A Signal to Noise Example (Computer World) 2,509,171 pixels (total) 384,462 pixels (content) 15% is content 384,462 pixels (signal) 2,124,709 pixels (noise).18 S/N;1447007406;fp;16;fpid;1

69 S/N Isn’t Enough, However

70 Evil vs. Value Evil Perceived User Value of Content Tolerate Satisfied Annoyed Angry

71 Value is Relative Evil Search / News Pr0n




75 Related References “Perception in Visualization.” “Attacking Information Visualization System Usability” “Googling Considered Harmful.” “How Web Advertising Works.” Ian Parberry. “The Internet and the Aspiring Games Programmer.” Jakob Nielsen. “Banner Ad Blindness: Old and New Findings.” “Generation MySpace is Getting Fed up”

76 Feedback Welcome What about the future of evil interfaces? Is this a second-tier problem? Survey

77 Greg Conti United States Military Academy West Point, New York Questions?

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