IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing

IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing (TDSC) is a bimonthly journal that publishes archival research results focusing on foundations, methodologies, and mechanisms that support the achievement—through design, modeling, and evaluation—of systems and networks that are dependable and secure to the desired degree without compromising performance. Read the full scope of TDSC


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From the July/August 2017 issue

Towards Detecting Compromised Accounts on Social Networks

By Manuel Egele, Gianluca Stringhini, Christopher Kruegel, and Giovanni Vigna

Compromising social network accounts has become a profitable course of action for cybercriminals. By hijacking control of a popular media or business account, attackers can distribute their malicious messages or disseminate fake information to a large user base. The impacts of these incidents range from a tarnished reputation to multi-billion dollar monetary losses on financial markets. In our previous work, we demonstrated how we can detect large-scale compromises (i.e., so-called campaigns) of regular online social network users. In this work, we show how we can use similar techniques to identify compromises of individual high-profile accounts. High-profile accounts frequently have one characteristic that makes this detection reliable—they show consistent behavior over time. We show that our system, were it deployed, would have been able to detect and prevent three real-world attacks against popular companies and news agencies. Furthermore, our system, in contrast to popular media, would not have fallen for a staged compromise instigated by a US restaurant chain for publicity reasons.

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