henryfarrell + cybersecurity_class   546

Is Facebook’s Anti-Abuse System Broken? — Krebs on Security
Last week, Facebook deleted almost 120 groups totaling more than 300,000 members. The groups were mostly closed — requiring approval from group administrators before outsiders could view the day-to-day postings of group members.

However, the titles, images and postings available on each group’s front page left little doubt about their true purpose: Selling everything from stolen credit cards, identities and hacked accounts to services that help automate things like spamming, phishing and denial-of-service attacks for hire.
4 days ago by henryfarrell
Margaret Roberts Dissertation
Fear, Friction, and Flooding: Methods of Online Information Control
Many scholars have speculated that censorship e↵orts will be ine↵ective in the information age,
where the possibility of accessing incriminating information about almost any political entity will
benefit the masses at the expense of the powerful. Others have speculated that while information
can now move instantly across borders, autocrats can still use fear and intimidation to encourage
citizens to keep quiet. This manuscript demonstrates that the deluge of information in fact still
benefits those in power by observing that the degree of accessibility of information is still determined
by organized groups and governments. Even though most information is possible to access,
as normal citizens get lost in the cacophony of information available to them, their consumption
of information is highly influenced by the costs of obtaining it. Much information is either disaggregated
online or somewhat inaccessible, and organized groups, with resources and incentives
to control this information, use information flooding and information friction as methods of controlling
the cost of information for consumers. I demonstrate in China that fear is not the primary
deterrent for the spread of information; instead, there are massively di↵erent political implications
of having certain information completely free and easy to obtain as compared to being available,
but slightly more dicult
to access.
cybersecurity_class  PDKL-Ninety-five 
10 weeks ago by henryfarrell
Anatomy of an online misinformation network
Massive amounts of fake news and conspiratorial content have spread
over social media before and after the 2016 US Presidential Elections despite
intense fact-checking efforts. How do the spread of misinformation
and fact-checking compete? What are the structural and dynamic characteristics
of the core of the misinformation diffusion network, and who are
its main purveyors? How to reduce the overall amount of misinformation?
To explore these questions we built Hoaxy, an open platform that enables
large-scale, systematic studies of how misinformation and fact-checking
spread and compete on Twitter. Hoaxy filters public tweets that include
links to unverified claims or fact-checking articles. We perform
decomposition on a diffusion network obtained from two million retweets
produced by several hundred thousand accounts over the six months before
the election. As we move from the periphery to the core of the network,
fact-checking nearly disappears, while social bots proliferate. The
number of users in the main core reaches equilibrium around the time of
the election, with limited churn and increasingly dense connections. We
conclude by quantifying how effectively the network can be disrupted by
penalizing the most central nodes. These findings provide a first look at
the anatomy of a massive online misinformation diffusion network.
PDKL-Ninety-five  cybersecurity_class 
january 2018 by henryfarrell
Examining Trolls and Polarization with a Retweet Network
This research examines the relationship between political homophily
and organized trolling efforts. This is accomplished by analyzing
how Russian troll accounts were retweeted on Twitter in the context
of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. This analysis shows that
these conversations were divided along political lines, and that
the examined trolling accounts systematically took advantage of
these divisions. The findings of this research can help us better
understand how to combat systematic trolling.
january 2018 by henryfarrell
Skyrocketing Bitcoin Fees Hit Carders in Wallet — Krebs on Security
“We have to take additionally a ‘Deposit fee’ from all users who deposit in Bitcoins. This is the amount we spent on transferring your funds to our suppliers. To compensate your costs, we are going to reduce our prices, including credit cards for all users and offer you the better bitcoin exchange rate.”

“The amount of the Deposit Fee depends on the load on the Bitcoin network. However, it stays the same regardless of the amount deposited. Deposits of 10$ and 1000$ attract the same deposit fee.”

“If the Bitcoin price continues increasing, this business is not going to be profitable for us anymore because all our revenue is going to be spent on the Bitcoin fees. We are no longer in possession of additional funds to improve the store.”
silkroad  cybersecurity_class 
december 2017 by henryfarrell
The Polarizing Effects of Online Partisan Criticism: Evidence from Two ExperimentsThe International Journal of Press/Politics - Elizabeth Suhay, Emily Bello-Pardo, Brianna Maurer, 2017
Affective and social political polarization—a dislike of political opponents and a desire to avoid their company—are increasingly salient and pervasive features of politics in many Western democracies, particularly the United States. One contributor to these related phenomena may be increasing exposure to online political disagreements in which ordinary citizens criticize, and sometimes explicitly demean, opponents. This article presents two experimental studies that assessed whether U.S. partisans’ attitudes became more prejudiced in favor of the in-party after exposure to online partisan criticism. In the first study, we draw on an online convenience sample to establish that partisan criticism that derogates political opponents increases affective polarization. In the second, we replicate these findings with a quasi-representative sample and extend the pattern of findings to social polarization. We conclude that online partisan criticism likely has contributed to rising affective and social polarization in recent years between Democrats and Republicans in the United States, and perhaps between partisan and ideological group members in other developed democracies as well. We close by discussing the troubling implications of these findings in light of continuing attempts by autocratic regimes and other actors to influence democratic elections via false identities on social media.
PDKL-Ninety-five  cybersecurity_class 
december 2017 by henryfarrell
Corrupting the Cyber-Commons: Social Media as a Tool of Autocratic Stability
Non-democratic regimes have increasingly moved beyond merely suppressing online discourse, and are shifting toward
proactively subverting and co-opting social media for their own purposes. Namely, social media is increasingly being used to
undermine the opposition, to shape the contours of public discussion, and to cheaply gather information about falsified public
preferences. Social media is thus becoming not merely an obstacle to autocratic rule but another potential tool of regime
durability. I lay out four mechanisms that link social media co-optation to autocratic resilience: 1) counter-mobilization,
2) discourse framing, 3) preference divulgence, and 4) elite coordination. I then detail the recent use of these tactics in mixed and
autocratic regimes, with a particular focus on Russia, China, and the Middle East. This rapid evolution of government social
media strategies has critical consequences for the future of electoral democracy and state-society relations.
cybersecurity_class  PDKL-Ninety-five 
december 2017 by henryfarrell
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