Facial Recognition Software and Cats

I thought this was an interesting use of facial recognition software, especially given the current state of affairs surrounding privacy. It's a work of art by Shinseungback Kimyonghun called Cat or Human: Human faces recognized as a cat face by a cat face-detection algorithm. Cat faces recognized as a human face by a human face-detection algorithm. The facial recognition (human and cat) was done using open source software. (Kittydar and OpenCV). … [Read more...]

Blind Obedience to Authority… Isn’t

Stanley Milgram's shock experiment is one of the more well known demonstrations of the power of authority.  In the original experiment Milgram had test subjects apply electric shocks in increasing intensity to a participant who was located in another room. Despite cries of pain from the other participant, the test subjects continued to apply electric shocks at the direction of the experimenter. In reality there were no electric shocks, and the participant in the other room was a confederate … [Read more...]

Summer Reading for Social Engineers

It's summer time... Which means warm weather, margaritas, and lazy summer afternoons.  To help fill in the gaps, here is a list of classic readings for every social engineer. Nonverbal Communication Everyone agrees that nonverbal communication plays a huge role in social engineering.  Here are some of the original texts that changed the field of nonverbal communication. Silent Messages By: Dr. Albert Mehrabian Chances are you've probably heard someone say something like "words are only … [Read more...]

Facial Action Coding System FAQs

The Facial Action Coding System (FACS) is an incredibly useful tool when it comes to dealing with the face.  Despite its utility, FACS is widely misunderstood.   This post answers some of the common questions about FACS. What is the Facial Action Coding System (FACS)? The Facial Action Coding System is a scientific system designed to measure facial behaviors.  Facial behaviors include individual facial movements such as pulling the eyebrows up, as well as more general facial activities like … [Read more...]

How DMARC Combats Phishing

Interesting infographic from the Marketing Tech Blog about how DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) approaches phishing. … [Read more...]

How To Write Phishing Emails That Get Clicked

If you're doing physical penetration tests or testing the human component of security, it's inevitable that you'll come across the need to write some phishing emails.  Here are five elements to get a better click-through-ratio (CTR). 1. The Subject is the Headline One of the first things that people see in pretty much any email software is the subject line.  This means that the subject line fulfills the same role as the headline in advertising: it pulls the reader in.  Here are some things … [Read more...]

Five Tips for Reading Facial Expressions

Have you ever tried to figure out what it means when someone gives you "the look"?  Maybe they angry at something you did, or at something you didn't do.  Reading facial expressions is tricky, so here are 5 simple tips to make you a better "face reader". 1. Focus on emotions, specifically the basic emotions Quiz question: what is the facial expression of a liar? It's a trick question because there is no facial expression for "I'm lying to you". This highlights a classic beginner's … [Read more...]

A Facial Expression for Anxiety?

MedicalXpress is reporting on a paper that suggests a facial expression for anxiety: Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King's College London have, for the first time, identified the facial expression of anxiety. The facial expression for the emotion of anxiety comprises an environmental scanning look that appears to aid risk assessment. Per the abstract, researchers presented 8 volunteers with emotional scenarios and had them pose facial expressions. Photographs and videos … [Read more...]

Hotspot and Facial Expression Resources

Here are a couple of resources to help with recognizing hotspots and facial expressions of emotion. Humintell has compiled a list of videos with examples of microexpressions, hotspots, gestures, and emotions. Here at Social Exploits we've been slowly building a library of "interesting faces". The collection includes various facial expressions of emotion from a variety of cultures. If you have anything you'd like to see added to this list, let us know. … [Read more...]

What Are Facial Expressions?

Facial expressions are a vital part of communication. What's funny is that most people talk about facial expressions, but they don't really know what they are. This post examines what facial expressions are in the context of nonverbal communication. Facial Movements Before we can even get into what facial expressions are, we have to understand the idea of "facial movements". A facial movement is the movement of one or more facial muscles. For example the zygomatic major muscles contract to … [Read more...]