Professors Dorr and Schmer-Galunder Play Pivotal Role in new Cyberpsychology-focused IARPA Project

FINS faculty, Dr. Bonnie J. Dorr and Sonja M. Schmer-Galunder, are among the recipients of a new, large, multi-institutional award from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) agency – the research arm of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence- that delves into the psychology of cyber attackers.


Among others, such as SRI International – a non-profit scientific research institute established by Stanford University, UF Computer Engineering & Information Science (CISE) Dept. Professors Dorr and Schmer-Galunder will contribute to this recently announced initiative, entitled the Reimagining Security with Cyberpsychology-Informed Network Defenses (ReSCIND) program, by building a Cultural Natural Language Processing (NLP) system that applies tailored NLP methods to data from public platforms (e.g., Reddit, GitHub, and Discord) alongside experimental data from cross-cultural human subject research. Their research will focus on describing the identities of the members of distinct social groups, with an emphasis on cultural expressions of cognitive vulnerabilities, and the mapping between them (e.g. linguistic cues that can reveal cultural background and associated potential biases). Their work at UF will include analysis and group-specific use of jargon, language patterns, mental states such as “stance” or differences in social cognition (e.g. temporal and spatial orientation). The goal is to map cultural indicators to cognitive vulnerability profiles of malicious hackers, allowing for tailored defense strategies against cyber threats.


Joining them in their efforts on this initiative, and under the lead of SRI, are partners from the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) – a non-profit research institute of the State University System of Florida , The Virtual Reality Medical Center (VRMC), Research & Assessment Design (RAD) Science Solution, and TwoSix Technologies, a high-growth technology company that provides expertise and products (such as cyber, software engineering, and advanced analytics solutions) to national security customers.


Read SRI’s press release on the topic HERE.