Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

2009 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers (Editor-in-Chief)

Granular Computing System Vulnerabilities: Exploring the Dark Side of Social Networking Communities

  • Steve Webb
  • James Caverlee
  • Calton Pu
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30440-3_258

Definition of the Subject

Online social networking communities are connecting hundreds of millions of individuals across the globe and facilitating new modes ofinteraction. Due to their immense popularity, an important question is whether these communities are safe for their users. In this paper, we address thissafety question and show that social networking communities are susceptible to numerous attacks. Specifically, we identify two attack classes:traditional attacks that have been adapted to these communities (e. g., malware propagation, spam, and phishing) and new attacks that have emergedthrough malicious social networking profiles (e. g., rogue advertising profiles and impersonating profiles). Concretely, we describe examples ofthese attack types that are observable in MySpace, which is currently the most popular social networking community.


Over the past few years, social networking communities have experienced unprecedented growth. Communities such as MySpace and...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve Webb
    • 1
  • James Caverlee
    • 2
  • Calton Pu
    • 1
  1. 1.College of ComputingGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA