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Upcoming Events

Sal Stolfo

Salvatore J. Stolfo Columbia University
A Brief History of Symbiote DefenseTuesday, October 31st
Rockefeller 003
5:00 PM

 Fright Night Imge

Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?
ISTS Looks at the Dark Web on Halloween Night
Tuesday, October 31st
Sudikoff  045 Trust Lab (dungeon)
7:30 PM - RSVP
Space is Limited 


Recent Talks

Dan Wallach

STAR-Vote: A Secure, Transparent, Auditable and Reliable Voting System

Professor Dan Wallach
Rice University
Thursday April 27, 2017
Carson L01, 5:00 PM

Ben Miller Dragos

Pandora's Power Grid - What Can State Attacks Do and What Would be the Impact?

Ben Miller
Chief Threat Officer, Dragos, Inc.
Tuesday May 2, 2017
Kemeny 007, 4:30 PM
Brendan Nyhan




Factual Echo Chambers? Fact-checking and Fake News in Election 2016.

Professor Brendan Nyhan
Dartmouth College
Thursday May 4, 2017
Rocky 001, 5:00 PM

Dickie George


Espionage and Intelligence

Professor Dickie George
Johns Hopkins University
Thursday May 11, 2017
Rocky 001, 5:00 PM

Dan Wallach

A Nation Under Attack: Advanced Cyber-Attacks in Ukraine

Ukrainian Cybersecurity Researchers
Thursday April 6, 2017
Oopik Auditorium 5:30 PM

ISTS Information Pamphlet



Institute for Security, Technology, and Society
Dartmouth College
6211 Sudikoff Laboratory
Hanover, NH 03755 USA

Semantic Hacking

Project Summary

The goal of this project is to develop techniques to detect inconsistencies or irregularities in online information, identify false information and evaluate the reliability of information sources and track those sources. A semantic attack is one in which the attacker modifies electronic information in such a way that the result is incorrect, but looks correct to the casual or perhaps even the attentive viewer. IRIA developed a categorization of semantic attacks, as well as implementing a set of techniques for detecting semantic attacks.

An evaluation of the initial prototype of a counter semantic-hacking tool was completed. This tool is intended to enable an end user to detect that a document found on the Internet is being used as a semantic attack, e.g., a document that is part of a pump-and-dump scheme. The prototype provides an environment wherein the user receiving a potentially misinforming document can efficiently compare the document to other documents that may reveal the misinformation.

Material from Semantic Hacking Project was incorporated into three courses:

  • Stephen Northcutt’s SANS one day Information Warfare course.
  • Susan McGrath’s Dartmouth Thayer School of Engineering ENGS-69 course on computer security.
  • Daniel Bilar’s Oberlin College Computer Science course “The Internet and Beyond.”

Initial Discussions under way for commercialization of semantic hacking technology with Chiliad, Inc.

  • Project Leads: Robert Gray, Susan McGrath
  • Documentation:
    • Semantic Hacking and Intelligence and Security Informatics [PDF]
    • Utility - Theoretic Information Retrieval, Cognitive Hacking, and Intelligence and Security Informatics [PDF]
    • Cognitive Hacking and Digital Government: Digital Identity [PDF]
    • Cognitive Hacking: Technological and Legal Issues [MS Word]
    • A New Model for Probabilistic Information Retrieval on the Web [PDF Format]
    • Categorization: Information and Misinformation [MS PowerPoint]
    • Cognitive Hacking [MS Word]
    • Cognitive Hacking and the Value of Information [MS Word]
    • Cognitive Hacking and the Value of Information - Presentation [MS PowerPoint]
    • Cognitive Hacking: A Battle for the Mind [PDF Format]
    • Question Answering in the Infosphere: Semantic Interoperability and Lexicon Development [MS Word]
    • Question Answering in the InfoSphere: Semantic Interoperability and Lexicon Development - Presentation [MS PowerPoint]