Title: Security information sharing via Twitter: 'Heartbleed' as a case study

Authors: Debora Jeske; Andrew R. McNeill; Lynne Coventry; Pam Briggs

Addresses: Edinburgh Napier University, 219 Colinton Road, Edinburgh EH14 1DJ, UK ' Psychology and Communication Lab, Northumbria University, Northumberland Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, UK ' Psychology and Communication Lab, Northumbria University, Northumberland Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, UK ' Psychology and Communication Lab, Northumbria University, Northumberland Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, UK

Abstract: The current paper outlines an exploratory case study in which we examined the extent to which specific communities of Twitter users engaged with the debate about the security threat known as 'Heartbleed' in the first few days after this threat was exposed. The case study explored which professional groups appeared to lead the debate about Heartbleed, the nature of the communication (tweets and retweets), and evidence about behaviour change. Using keywords from the Twitter user profiles, six occupational groups were identified, each of which were likely to have a direct interest in learning about Heartbleed (including legal, financial, entrepreneurial, press, and IT professionals). The groups participated to different degrees in the debate about Heartbleed. This exploratory case study provides an insight into information sharing, potential communities of influence, and points for future research in the absence of a voice of authority in the field of cybersecurity.

Keywords: Heartbleed; tweet content; influence; behavioural change.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2017.084384

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2017 Vol.13 No.2, pp.172 - 192

Received: 28 Mar 2016
Accepted: 01 Nov 2016

Published online: 05 Jun 2017 *

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