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Demystifying Insider Threat: Language-Action Cues in Group Dynamics


Written language as a symbolic medium of expression plays an important role in communications. In particular, written words communicated online can provide indications of an actor’s behavioral intent. This paper describes an ongoing investigation into the interconnectivity between words and actions for a deceptive insider on group dynamics in virtual team collaboration. An experiment using an online game environment was conducted in 2014. Our findings support the hypothesis that language-action cues of group interactions will change significantly after an insider has been compromised. Deceptive actors tend to use more cognition, inclusivity and exclusivity words when interacting with group members. Future work will employ finely tuned complex Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) dictionaries to identify additional language-action cues for deception in various experimental conditions.

S.M. Ho
J.T. Hancock
C. Booth
M. Burmester
X. Liu
S.S. Timmarajus
Proceedings of the 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Publication Date
January 28, 2016