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The Taub Faculty of Computer Science Events and Talks

ceClub: [2 topics] Censorship in the Wild, Analyzing Internet Filtering in Syria & Paying for Likes? Understanding Facebook Like Fraud Using Honeypots
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Arik Friedman (NICTA, Australia)
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Wednesday, 05.11.2014, 11:30
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Room 337-8 Taub Bld.
(1) Censorship in the Wild, Analyzing Internet Filtering in Syria. Several government authorities worldwide enforce Internet censorship, however, due to the lack of publicly available information and the inherent risks of performing active measurements, it is often hard for the research community to investigate censorship practices in the wild. In this talk I will present the methodology and the results of a measurement analysis of 600GB worth of leaked logs from 7 Blue Coat SG-9000 proxies – deployed in Syria to filter Internet traffic at a country scale. To the best of our knowledge, our work provides the first analytical look into Internet filtering in Syria. This is joint work with Abdelberi Chaabane, Terence Chen, Mathieu Cunche, Emiliano De Cristofaro and Mohamed Ali Kaafar. (

(2) Paying for Likes? Understanding Facebook Like Fraud Using Honeypots. Facebook pages offer an easy way to reach out to a very large audience as they can easily be promoted using Facebook's advertising platform. Recently, the number of likes of a Facebook page has become a measure of its popularity and profitability, and an underground market of services boosting page likes, aka like farms, has emerged. In this talk I will present a comparative measurement study of page likes garnered via Facebook ads and by a few like farms, based on a set of deployed honeypot pages. I will highlight a few interesting findings, including that some farms seem to be operated by bots and do not really try to hide the nature of their operations, while others follow a stealthier approach, mimicking regular users' behavior. This is joint work with Emiliano De Cristofaro, Guillaume Jourjoin, Mohamed Ali Kaafar and M. Zubair Shafiq. (

Dr. Arik Friedman is a senior researcher in NICTA's Networks Research Group. He received a PhD from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and MBA with specialization in Technology and Information Systems from Tel-Aviv University. His research interests include privacy-preserving data mining and computer security. He previously held the position of Program Manager at Microsoft R&D between 2007­-2011, where he worked on privacy and security products.