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SOCNET  December 2006

SOCNET December 2006

Subject:

Re: networking spam

From:

Joshua O'Madadhain <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Tue, 12 Dec 2006 10:51:59 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (138 lines)

*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

> But couldn't there be a huge amount of surveillance and false positives?
>
>  Barry Wellman

I'm not sure what you mean by 'surveillance' in this context.

As for false positives, that point was addressed in the article:

> But Ullrich said the CMU researchers must find a way to screen out false
> positives. He said a small group of users  such as baseball card
> collectors  might repeatedly buy from one another and could be flagged as
> high-risk.
>
> Faloutsos said the researchers have thought of that in developing the
> software called NetProbe  short for Network Detection via Propagation of
> Beliefs.
>
> "We're not just looking at your neighbors (on the auction site),"
> Faloutsos said. "We're looking at the neighbors of your neighbors, and the
> neighbors of your neighbors' neighbors."

This might be one reason to frame this problem as a classification
problem--e.g., "is this transaction likely to involve fraud?"--with
the intent of training a classifier with a metric which places a
(large) penalty on false positives, rather than constructing a metric
a priori.

Joshua O'Madadhain

On 12/12/06, Barry Wellman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>
> PITTSBURGH - Carnegie Mellon University researchers are relying on an old
> adage to develop anti-fraud software for Internet auction sites: It's not
> what you know, it's who you know.
>
> At sites like eBay, users warn each other if they have a bad experience
> with a seller by rating their transactions. But the CMU researchers said
> savvy fraudsters get around that by conducting transactions with friends
> or even themselves, using alternate user names to give themselves high
> satisfaction ratings  so unsuspecting customers will still try to buy
> from them.
>
> The CMU software looks for patterns of users who have repeated dealings
> with one another, and alerts other users that there is a higher
> probability of having a fraudulent transaction with them.
>
> "There's a lot of commonsense solutions out there, like being more careful
> about how you screen the sellers," said Duen Horng "Polo" Chau, the
> research associate who developed the software with computer science
> professor Christos Faloutsos and two other students. "But because I'm an
> engineering student, I wanted to come up with a systematic approach" to
> identify those likely to commit fraud.
>
> The researchers analyzed about 1 million transactions involving 66,000
> eBay users to develop graphs  known in statistical circles as bipartite
> cores  that identify users interacting with unusual frequency. They plan
> to publish a paper on their findings early next year and, perhaps, market
> their software to eBay or otherwise make it available to people who shop
> online.
>
> Catherine England, an eBay spokeswoman, said the company was not aware of
> the research and would not comment on it. But England said protecting the
> company's more than 200 million users from fraud was a top priority.
>
> Online auction fraud  when a seller doesn't deliver goods or sells a
> defective product  accounted for 12 percent of the 431,000 computer fraud
> complaints received last year by Consumer Sentinel, the Federal Trade
> Commission's consumer fraud and identity theft database. Auction fraud was
> the most commonly reported computer-related fraud in the database.
>
> And the scams run the gamut.
>
> Last year, a federal grand jury indicted an Ohio man on charges he sold
> hundreds of thousands of dollars of stolen Lego merchandise on the
> Internet. Earlier this year, a New Mexico woman was sentenced to nine
> years in federal prison for selling forged hunting licenses on eBay, over
> the phone and by e-mail, and then not delivering trips paid for by
> out-of-state hunters.
>
> Earlier this month, a man who failed to deliver tickets to the 2005 Ohio
> State-Michigan football game to 250 online auction customers was sentenced
> to 34 months in federal prison.
>
> Johannes Ullrich, an Internet fraud expert with the SANS Institute in
> Bethesda, Md., said the CMU research "sounds like a credible way to detect
> fraud."
>
> "Essentially, what they're trying to do is find these extended circles of
> friends who make positive recommendations to each other," said Ullrich,
> the chief technology officer of SANS' Internet Storm Center, which tracks
> viruses and other Internet problems.
>
> But Ullrich said the CMU researchers must find a way to screen out false
> positives. He said a small group of users  such as baseball card
> collectors  might repeatedly buy from one another and could be flagged as
> high-risk.
>
> Faloutsos said the researchers have thought of that in developing the
> software called NetProbe  short for Network Detection via Propagation of
> Beliefs.
>
> "We're not just looking at your neighbors (on the auction site),"
> Faloutsos said. "We're looking at the neighbors of your neighbors, and the
> neighbors of your neighbors' neighbors."
>
> /-30-/
>
>  _____________________________________________________________________
>
>  Barry Wellman   S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology   NetLab Director
>  Centre for Urban & Community Studies          University of Toronto
>  455 Spadina Avenue    Toronto Canada M5S 2G8    fax:+1-416-978-7162
>  wellman at chass.utoronto.ca  http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman
>        for fun: http://chass.utoronto.ca/oldnew/cybertimes.php
>  _____________________________________________________________________
>
> _____________________________________________________________________
> SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
> network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
> an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
> UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.
>


-- 
  joshua.omadadhain@gmail.com...................www.ics.uci.edu/~jmadden
   Joshua O'Madadhain: Information Scientist, Musician, Philosopher-At-Tall
It's that moment of dawning comprehension that I live for.  -- Bill Watterson
 My opinions are too rational and insightful to be those of any organization.

_____________________________________________________________________
SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.

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