Identifying close friends on the internet

TitleIdentifying close friends on the internet
Publication TypeConference Papers
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsBaden R, Spring N, Bhattacharjee B
Conference NameProc. of workshop on Hot Topics in Networks (HotNets-VIII)
Date Published2009///

Online Social Networks (OSNs) encourage users to createan online presence that reflects their offline identity. OSNs
create the illusion that these online accounts correspond to
the correct offline person, but in reality the OSN lacks the re-
sources to detect impersonation. We propose that OSN users
identify each other based on interaction and experience.
We believe that impersonation can be thwarted by users
who possess exclusive shared knowledge, secret informa-
tion shared only between a pair of OSN friends. We describe
existing protocols that use shared secrets to exchange public
keys without revealing those secrets to attackers. We present
results from a user study on Facebook to show that users do
share exclusive knowledge with their Facebook friends and
attackers are rarely able to guess that knowledge. Finally,
we show that friend identification can be extended using a
web of trust built on the OSN friend graph.