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The Cambridge-INET Institute


Rebecca Heath (Cambridge)

"Investing slander and sybil attacks in markets of asymmetric information using online experiments" (joint with Edoardo Gallo, Federico Varese, and Jonathan Lusthaus)

Abstract: We investigate interventions designed to disrupt cybercrime marketplaces using online experiments. Cybercrime is one of the fastest growing economic crimes - with 3 million incidents reported to the England and Wales police in 2018/19. Law enforcement agencies have targeted cybercrime by arresting and prosecuting cybercriminals and seizing websites. There is strong evidence that this approach has failed to disrupt cybercrime due to displacement. Criminologists have recommended switching to `softer’ interventions, which are designed to exploit information asymmetries. This project investigates the effect of slander attacks and sybil attacks on markets of asymmetric information using online experiments. In the slander attack, there is a 15% probability that a seller’s rating is replaced with a different (random) rating. In the sybil attack, there is a 15% probability that the good delivery mechanism fails. We collect data on 112 subjects in a pilot study. There is preliminary evidence that the slander attack and the sybil attack disrupt markets of asymmetric information, by increasing seller deception and by reducing the number of goods traded.

When: Monday 1st November 2021 - 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Where: Zoom

Reading Group: Theory Workshop

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