Consequences of Connectivity: Characterizing Account Hijacking on Twitter

TitleConsequences of Connectivity: Characterizing Account Hijacking on Twitter
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsThomas, K., Li F., Grier C., & Paxson V.
Other Numbers3702

In this study we expose the serious large-scale threat of criminal account hijacking and the resulting damage incurred byusers and web services. We develop a system for detectinglarge-scale attacks on Twitter that identies 14 million victims of compromise. We examine these accounts to trackhow attacks spread within social networks and to determinehow criminals ultimately realize a prot from hijacked credentials. We nd that compromise is a systemic threat, withvictims spanning nascent, casual, and core users. Even brief


We would like to thank James Fowler for his helpful comments on our research and its development. This work wassupported in part by funding provided to ICSI through National Science Foundation grant CNS : 1237265 (“Beyond Technical Security: Developing an Empirical Basis for Socio-Economic Perspectives”), by the Office of Naval Research under MURI grant N000140911081, and by a gift from Google.Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendationsexpressed in this material are those of the authors and donot necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors.

Bibliographic Notes

Proceedings of the 21st ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (ACM CCS), Scottsdale, Arizona

Abbreviated Authors

K. Thomas, F. Li, C. Grier, and V. Paxson

ICSI Research Group

Networking and Security

ICSI Publication Type

Article in conference proceedings