Title: A challenge-response mechanism for securing online social networks against social bots

Authors: Torky Mohamed; Meligy Ali; Ibrahim Hani

Addresses: Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science-Menoufia University, Shebein El Koom, Menoufia, 32811, Egypt ' Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science-Menoufia University, Shebein El Koom, Menoufia, 32811, Egypt ' Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science-Menoufia University, Shebein El Koom, Menoufia, 32811, Egypt

Abstract: Social bots is fast becoming a serious security threat to online social networks (OSNs). Social bots are automated software tools able to execute malicious activities in OSNs systems in an automated fashion. It can perform auto-sharing and posting, sending fake friend requests, harvesting private information, etc. There is evidence that social bots play a crucial role in penetrating privacy and security of social networks. Hence, these malicious software tools represent a big security challenge against social network service provider (SNSP). In this paper, we introduce a novel antibot mechanism called Necklace CAPTCHA for securing OSNs platforms against the automated behaviours of social bots. Necklace CAPTCHA is an Image-based CAPTCHA, which utilises the functionality of Necklace Graph approach to generate its challenge-response tests in a novel fashion. The results demonstrated that Necklace CAPTCHA is an effective and secure anti-bot mechanism compared with other CAPTCHAs in the literature with respect to the usability and security metrics.

Keywords: OSNs; online social networks; security and privacy; system usability; social bots; CAPTCHA; necklace graph.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAHUC.2019.101819

International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing, 2019 Vol.32 No.1, pp.1 - 13

Available online: 20 Aug 2019 *

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