Detection of access to terror-related web sites using an Advanced Terror Detection System (ATDS)

Yuval Elovici, Bracha Shapira, Mark Last, Omer Zaafrany, Menahem Friedman, Moti Schneider, Abraham Kandel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Terrorist groups use the Web as their infrastructure for various purposes. One example is the forming of new local cells that may later become active and perform acts of terror. The Advanced Terrorist Detection System (ATDS), is aimed at tracking down online access to abnormal content, which may include terrorist-generated sites, by analyzing the content of information accessed by the Web users. ATDS operates in two modes: the training mode and the detection mode. In the training mode, ATDS determines the typical interests of a prespecified group of users by processing the Web pages accessed by these users over time. In the detection mode, ATDS performs real-time monitoring of the Web traffic generated by the monitored group, analyzes the content of the accessed Web pages, and issues an alarm if the accessed information is not within the typical interests of that group and similar to the terrorist interests. An experimental version of ATDS was implemented and evaluated in a local network environment.The results suggest that when optimally tuned the system can reach high detection rates of up to 100% in case of continuous access to a series of terrorist Web pages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-418
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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