Things That Make Us Dumb: Why Security User Interfaces lead to Insecure User Actions presented at AUScert 2008

by Peter Gutmann,

Summary : Donald Norman's book "Things That Make Us Smart" (a follow-on to his classic "The Design of Everyday Things") looks at how appropriately-designed technology can help humans accomplish tasks and achieve goals. Unfortunately technology isn't always appropriately designed, and can have quite the opposite effect to the one intended. One area where this has proven particularly problematic is security user interfaces, where the design is purely by geeks for geeks. This talk examines the how and why of the destructive interaction between the way normal humans do things and the user interfaces that are typically used to present computer security information to users.