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Classification of malicious insiders and the association of the forms of attacks

Fletcher Glancy (Department of Management Science and Information Systems, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)
David P. Biros (Department of Management Science and Information Systems, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)
Nan Liang (Stephenson Department of Entrepreneurship and Information Systems, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA)
Andy Luse (Department of Management Science and Information Systems, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)

Journal of Criminal Psychology

ISSN: 2009-3829

Article publication date: 27 June 2020

Issue publication date: 22 September 2020

94

Abstract

Purpose

The authors argue that the current studies about malicious insiders confuse the fact that malicious attacks belong to two different categories, namely, those that launch instrumental attacks and expressive attacks. The authors collect malicious insider data from publicly available sources and use text-mining techniques to analyze the association between malicious insiders’ characteristics and the different types of attack.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors investigated the relationship between personality characteristics and different types of malicious attacks. For the personality characteristics, the authors use the same method as Liang et al. (2016), which extracted these characteristics based on a keyword-characteristic dictionary. For different types of malicious attacks, two raters rated each case based on criteria modified from criminology research to determine the degree of expressiveness and instrumentality.

Findings

The results show that malicious insiders who are manipulative or seeking personal gain tend to carry out instrumental attacks. Malicious insiders who are arrogant tend to conduct expressive attacks.

Research limitations/implications

This study uses third party articles to identify the personality characteristics of known malicious insiders. As such, not all personality characteristics may have been reported. Data availability was an issue.

Practical implications

Understanding if different personality characteristics lead different types of attacks can help managers identify employees who exhibit them and mitigate an attack before it occurs.

Social implications

Malicious insider attacks can have devastating results on businesses and employees. Help to identify potential malicious insiders before they act, may prevent undue harm.

Originality/value

This study used 132 cases of none malicious insiders to examine their attack objectives. No other study that the authors know of used that many cases.

Keywords

Citation

Glancy, F., Biros, D.P., Liang, N. and Luse, A. (2020), "Classification of malicious insiders and the association of the forms of attacks", Journal of Criminal Psychology, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 233-247. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCP-03-2020-0012

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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