Live blogging from WebKDD 08:
Exploring the Impact of Profile Injection Attacks in Social Tagging Systems
Maryam Ramezani, J.J. Sandvig, Runa Bhaumik, Robin Burke, and Bamshad Mobasher
Explores how folksonomies can be used for social navigation and protect it from 'self-promotion tags'. in profile injection attacks, users create number of identities and add 'tag spam' for malicious intent. Spurl.net is an example of a social tagging system that was inundated with spam and had to shut down.With various entities (resource, tag and users) the profile injection attacks can effect each of the 'navigation contexts' like: related resources, co-occurring tags, recent items etc. The paper goes in depth into the various classes of such attacks. The paper uses del.icio.us crawls for this study that were split into three partitions: low freq, med freq, high freq.
Two main types of attacks discussed:
- attacks on popular tags
- Piggyback attack: force association of a particular resource with another resource to make it look similar.
- Overload attack: associate popular tags with a target URL.
- Focused overload attack: for a specific target users (say those, using the tag coffee) associate the target URL with those tagged as coffee
One interesting point is that piggyback attack is a problem mostly in the Low and medium freq partitions and just 3-5% of fake user profiles injected (using relatively few number of tags) can cause considerable problems in social tagging systems. The authors present various results based on number of tags, number of profiles etc.
I think as tagging systems become more main stream dealing with spam in such environments is quite important.