App Protects Facebook Users from Hackers

Cyber-crime is expanding to the fertile grounds of social networks and University of California, Riverside engineers are fighting it.

A recent four-month experiment conducted by several UC Riverside engineering professors and graduate students found that the application they created to detect spam and malware posts on Facebook users’ walls was highly accurate, fast and efficient.

The researchers also introduced the new term “socware” – pronounced “sock-where” – to describe a combination of “social malware,” encompassing all criminal and parasitic behavior on online social networks.

Their free application, MyPageKeeper, successfully flagged 97 percent of socware during the experiment. In addition, it was only incorrect – flagging posts of socware that did not fit into those categories – 0.005 percent of the time.

The researchers also found that it took an average of .0046 seconds to classify a post, which is far quicker than the 1.9 seconds it takes using the traditional approach of web site crawling. MyPageKeeper’s more efficient classification also translates to lower costs, cutting expenses by up to 40 times.

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Source: UCR Today

Researchers:

Harsha V. Madhyastha
Michalis Faloutsos
Md Sazzadur Rahman
Ting-Kai Huang