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Preventing abuse of online communities

By Danesh Irani


Online communities are growing at a phenomenal rate and with the large number of users these communities contain, attackers are drawn to exploit these users. Denial of information (DoI) attacks and information leakage attacks are two popular attacks that target users on online communities. These information based attacks are linked by their opposing views on low-quality information. On the one hand denial of information attacks which primarily use low-quality information (such as spam and phishing) are a nuisance for information consumers. On the other hand information leakage attacks, which use inadvertently leaked information, are less effective when low-quality information is used, and thus leakage of low-quality information is prefered by private information producers. In this dissertation, I introduce techniques for preventing abuse against these attacks in online communities using meta-model classification and information unification approaches, respectively. The meta-model classification approach involves classifying the ``connected payload" associated with the information and using the classification result for the determination. This approach allows for detection of DoI attacks in emerging domains where the amount of information may be constrained. My information unification approach allows for modeling and mitigating information leakage attacks. Unifying information across domains followed by a quantificiation of the information leaked, provides one of the first studies on users' susceptibality to information leakage attacks. Further, the modeling introduced allows me to quantify the reduced threat of information leakage attacks after applying information cloaking.PhDCommittee Chair: Pu, Calton; Committee Member: Ahamad, Mustaque; Committee Member: Giffin, Jonathon; Committee Member: Li, Kang; Committee Member: Liu, Lin

Topics: Online privacy; security; social networks, Online social networks, Social media, Computer networks Security measures
Publisher: Georgia Institute of Technology
Year: 2012
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