Vision: design fiction for cybersecurity: using science fiction to help software developers anticipate problems

Cecilia Loureiro-Koechlin, José Rodrigo Córdoba-Pachón, Lynne Coventry, Soteris Demetriou, Charles Weir

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Security and privacy issues are an ever-increasing problem for software systems. To address them, software developers must anticipate the problems that their developed systems may face, using a process we call ‘threat assessment’. Unfortunately, given the shortage of security experts, and the need to ‘think laterally’, threat assessment is very difficult for many development teams. One possibility is to use stories, known as ‘Design Fiction,’ to help developers visualize different contexts and future use for their software. But such stories are themselves difficult to write. A recent pilot project investigated using a broad-brush threat model and fiction samples derived from existing science fiction literature to help developers create threat assessments for Health Internet-of-Things devices. The preliminary results are encouraging, and open the possibility of developing a method to support developers in threat assessment in any domain.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuroUSEC '22
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the 2022 European Symposium on Usable Security
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450397001
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event2022 European Symposium on Usable Security - Karlsruhe, Germany
Duration: 29 Sep 202230 Sep 2022


Conference2022 European Symposium on Usable Security
Abbreviated titleEuroUSEC 2022
Internet address


  • Threats
  • Health
  • Design fiction
  • Science fiction
  • Cybersecurity
  • Internet of Things
  • Software security
  • Design research
  • Privacy


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