Link privacy in social networks

Aleksandra Korolova, Rajeev Motwani, Shubha U. Nabar, Ying Xu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

108 Scopus citations

Abstract

We consider a privacy threat to a social network in which the goal of an attacker is to obtain knowledge of a significant fraction of the links in the network. We formalize the typical social network interface and the information about links that it provides to its users in terms of lookahead. We consider a particular threat where an attacker subverts user accounts to get information about local neighborhoods in the network and pieces them together in order to get a global picture. We analyze, both experimentally and theoretically, the number of user accounts an attacker would need to subvert for a successful attack, as a function of his strategy for choosing users whose accounts to subvert and a function of lookahead provided by the network. We conclude that such an attack is feasible in practice, and thus any social network that wishes to protect the link privacy of its users should take great care in choosing the lookahead of its interface, limiting it to 1 or 2, whenever possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM'08
Pages289-298
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event17th ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM'08 - Napa Valley, CA, United States
Duration: Oct 26 2008Oct 30 2008

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, Proceedings

Other

Other17th ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM'08
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNapa Valley, CA
Period10/26/0810/30/08

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Decision Sciences
  • General Business, Management and Accounting

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