The Chameleon Attack: Manipulating Content Display in Online Social Media

Aviad Elyashar, Sagi Uziel, Abigail Paradise, Rami Puzis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Online social networks (OSNs) are ubiquitous attracting millions of users all over the world. Being a popular communication media OSNs are exploited in a variety of cyber-attacks. In this article, we discuss the chameleon attack technique, a new type of OSN-based trickery where malicious posts and profiles change the way they are displayed to OSN users to conceal themselves before the attack or avoid detection. Using this technique, adversaries can, for example, avoid censorship by concealing true content when it is about to be inspected; acquire social capital to promote new content while piggybacking a trending one; cause embarrassment and serious reputation damage by tricking a victim to like, retweet, or comment a message that he wouldn't normally do without any indication for the trickery within the OSN. An experiment performed with closed Facebook groups of sports fans shows that (1) chameleon pages can pass by the moderation filters by changing the way their posts are displayed and (2) moderators do not distinguish between regular and chameleon pages. We list the OSN weaknesses that facilitate the chameleon attack and propose a set of mitigation guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Web Conference 2020 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2020
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages848-859
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450370233
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Apr 2020
Event29th International World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2020 - Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: 20 Apr 202024 Apr 2020

Publication series

NameThe Web Conference 2020 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2020

Conference

Conference29th International World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2020
Country/TerritoryTaiwan, Province of China
CityTaipei
Period20/04/2024/04/20

Keywords

  • Chameleon Attack
  • Link Previews
  • Online Social Networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software

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