Antisocial Networks: Turning a Social Network into a Botnet

  • Elias Athanasopoulos
  • A. Makridakis
  • S. Antonatos
  • D. Antoniades
  • Sotiris Ioannidis
  • K. G. Anagnostakis
  • Evangelos P. Markatos
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5222)


Antisocial Networks are distributed systems based on social networking Web sites that can be exploited by attackers, and directed to carry out network attacks. Malicious users are able to take control of the visitors of social sites by remotely manipulating their browsers through legitimate Web control functionality such as image-loading HTML tags, JavaScript instructions, etc. In this paper we experimentally show that Social Network web sites have the ideal properties to become attack platforms.

We start by identifying all the properties of Facebook, a real-world Social Network, and then study how we can utilize these properties and transform it into an attack platform against any host connected to the Internet. Towards this end, we developed a real-world Facebook application that can perform malicious actions covertly. We experimentally measured it’s impact by studying how innocent Facebook users can be manipulated into carrying out a Denial-of-Service attack. Finally, we explored other possible misuses of Facebook and how they can be applied to other online Social Network web sites.


Social Network Social Networking Site Malicious Application Victim Host Inline Image 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elias Athanasopoulos
    • 1
  • A. Makridakis
    • 1
  • S. Antonatos
    • 1
  • D. Antoniades
    • 1
  • Sotiris Ioannidis
    • 1
  • K. G. Anagnostakis
    • 2
  • Evangelos P. Markatos
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Computer Science (ICS), Foundation for Research & Technology Hellas (FORTH) 
  2. 2.Institute for Infocomm ResearchSingapore

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