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Episode #18: What is a Lizard Brain? - Interview with an Artificial Cyber Intelligence

Episode #18: What is a Lizard Brain?

Your lizard brain can help you determine when it's time to fight or take flight. How can we hack your lizard brain so that it is passively working in the background to keep you safe online?


Episode #18: What is a Lizard Brain?

What is a Lizard Brain?

The term "lizard brain" is sometimes used as a metaphor to refer to the primal, instinctual part of the brain responsible for basic survival functions and emotions, often called the amygdala. It is thought to be an evolutionarily older part of the brain compared to the more recently developed areas responsible for higher cognitive functions such as reasoning and decision making.

In the context of cyber security, the "lizard brain" might refer to the instinctual, emotional response to potential threats, rather than a rational, calculated response. So, it's like a first reaction mechanism to protect ourselves from potential dangers.


How can I train my lizard brain into sounding the alarm when receiving suspicious emails?

The "lizard brain" is a colloquial term used to refer to the part of the brain responsible for our most basic instincts, such as the fight or flight response. Tricking your lizard brain into sounding the alarm when receiving suspicious emails can be done by training yourself to be more aware of potential red flags. Some ways to do this include:

  • Learning to recognize common indicators of phishing emails, such as misspellings, urgent language, and requests for personal information.

  • Being suspicious of emails that come from unfamiliar senders or that are unexpected.

  • Being cautious when clicking on links or downloading attachments from emails.

  • Being skeptical of emails that ask for personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers.

  • Double-checking the sender's email address and the link in the email before clicking on it.

  • Being aware of the current threats and trends in phishing, such as COVID-19-related scams.

By training yourself to be more aware of these red flags, you can help your lizard brain sound the alarm when it detects something suspicious, keeping you and your information safe from phishing attacks.


Can you write a phishing email and highlight the red flags people should embed in their lizard brain in order to determine if the email is legitimate?

Sure, here is an example of a phishing email:

Subject: "Important Update to Your Bank Account"

Email Body:

"Dear valued customer,

We have recently noticed some suspicious activity on your bank account. To protect your account, we need you to click on the following link to verify your identity and update your account information.

Link: [Insert link to phishing website]

Please note that this is a time-sensitive matter and failure to verify your identity may result in the suspension of your account.

Thank you,

The Bank Team"

Indicators that this email could be a phishing attempt:

  • The sender's email address is not from the bank or does not match the bank's official email address

  • The email requests personal information, such as account numbers or passwords

  • The email includes a sense of urgency or threat to create a sense of panic

  • The email includes a link or attachment that should not be clicked on

  • The email contains spelling and grammatical errors

If you receive an email like this, it is best to not click on any links or provide any personal information. Instead, contact your bank directly using the phone number or email address that you have on file to confirm the legitimacy of the request.


Can you design me a 'lizard brain training program' that will allow me to embed common indicators of phishing?

Sure, here is a sample monthly training program for "lizard brain" training on identifying phishing emails:

Week 1:

Identify and report suspicious emails that are sent to your email address.

Train your brain to recognize common phishing indicators such as spelling and grammar mistakes, generic greetings and urgent calls to action.

Week 2:

Learn to hover over links to see the URL before clicking.

Use the same techniques to recognize phishing phone calls and text messages.

Week 3:

Learn how to identify and report email scams that try to trick you into giving away sensitive information.

Learn how to recognize phishing emails that impersonate well-known companies or organizations.

Week 4:

Learn how to recognize phishing emails that contain malware or ransomware.

Learn how to recognize phishing emails that are sent from free email services.

Repeat the program every month. This will help you to refresh your memory and stay aware of the latest types of phishing attacks. Additionally, it's important to be vigilant and to always be suspicious of any unsolicited emails and messages, even if they don't show any obvious signs of being a phishing attempt.


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