Title: Spam diffusion in a social network initiated by hacked e-mail accounts

Authors: Ghita Mezzour; Kathleen M. Carley

Addresses: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh 15213, PA, USA ' School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh 15213, PA, USA

Abstract: Rumour diffusion has been widely studied in the literature. However, most prior work assumes that the rumour initiators are humans. This assumption does not hold in cyber space where some of the accounts are hacked. These hacked accounts aggressively disseminate rumours by continuously sending a large amount of messages. Our results show that when rumours are initiated by hacked accounts, the rumour diffusion dynamics are different. This work suggests that social simulations of interactions over cyber space should capture the fact that spamming accounts also participate in these interactions. The presence of these accounts can alter the simulation dynamics.

Keywords: attack propagation; spam diffusion; social networks; attack modelling; rumour diffusion; simulation; agent-based modelling; agent-based simulation; network security; hacked accounts; hacked emails; email accounts; email hacking; diffusion dynamics; spamming; agent-based systems; multi-agent systems; MAS.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSN.2014.065709

International Journal of Security and Networks, 2014 Vol.9 No.3, pp.144 - 153

Accepted: 02 Oct 2013
Published online: 09 Nov 2014 *

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