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Thursday 16 Nov 2017Understanding and Mitigating Online Abuse

Prof. Gianluca Stringhini - UCL

Harrison 170 14:30-15:30

Online services are abused by a multitude of malicious parties, from cybercriminals using them to monetize botnets and malware, to trolls spreading hate speech and bullying, to entities spreading fake news with the goal of swaying public opinion for a political gain. Despite the threats that they pose to the safety of Internet users, we still lack a satisfactory knowledge of how different types of malicious users operate. In this talk I will provide an overview of our recent work in the area. I will first illustrate the findings that we made when deploying honeypot accounts on Gmail and deliberately giving access to them to cybercriminals. I will then talk about our measurement study of 4chan, the "dark underbelly of the Internet," in which we characterized "raid" behaviour, a phenomenon that sees online trolls gather and deliberately attacking an entity on a third party service, such as a Youtube video or a Twitter account. Finally, I will present the results of our study on alternative news dissemination on the Web, in which we investigated to what extent "fringe" online communities can influence mainstream ones by actively pushing news stories.


Gianluca Stringhini is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in the Department of Computer Science and Security and Crime Science at University College London. He obtained his PhD from UCSB in 2014, where he worked under the supervision of Christopher Kruegel and Giovanni Vigna. Gianluca works in the area of data-driven security, analyzing large datasets to better understand complex cybercriminal operations and developing mitigation techniques to fight them. He was awarded a Google Faculty Research Award in 2015, the Symantec Research Labs Fellowship in 2012, and multiple Best Paper Awards. He published in top security conferences such as CCS, NDSS, and USENIX Security, as well as top measurement and web conferences such as IMC, WWW, and ICWSM.

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