“Communities of Interest” and AT&T

30 October 2007

Ed Felten’s blog relays a report from the New York Timesexplaining the target selection strategies used to detect suspect communities in vast call graphs. The full paper reference, containing some novel data structures to support the processing, is:

Some further work from the same author includes a Bayesian re-framing of the problem and the solution in Deepak Agrawal, Daryl Pregibon“Enhancing Communities of Interest Using Bayesian Stochastic Blockmodels” presented at SDM 2004. Others have used a similar paradigm to study email messaging networks, particularly with a view to detect SPAM messages (Lisa Johansen, Michael Rowell, Kevin Butler, and Patrick McDaniel. Email Communities of Interest) or to prevent DDoS attacks (Patrick Verkaik, Oliver Spatscheck, Jacobus Van der Merwe, and Alex C. Snoeren. PRIMED: Community­of­Interest­Based DDoS Mitigation). It seems that the COI meme became popular within AT&T leading to more framework papers like William Aiello , Charles Kalmanek, Patrick McDaniel, Subhabrata Sen , Oliver Spatscheck, and Jacobus Van der Merwe, “Analysis of Communities of Interest in Data Networks“.

A key shortcoming of these papers when it come to security is that they do not consider a strategic adversary that aims to foil detection. The work by Sudarshan S. Chawathe  “Tracking Hidden Groups Using Communications” addresses this side of the problem.

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