Constructing and analyzing criminal networks

Hamed Sarvari, Ehab Abozinadah, Alex Mbaziira, Damon McCoy

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Analysis of criminal social graph structures can enable us to gain valuable insights into how these communities are organized. Such as, how large scale and centralized these criminal communities are currently? While these types of analysis have been completed in the past, we wanted to explore how to construct a large scale social graph from a smaller set of leaked data that included only the criminal's email addresses. We begin our analysis by constructing a 43 thousand node social graph from one thousand publicly leaked criminals' email addresses. This is done by locating Facebook profiles that are linked to these same email addresses and scraping the public social graph from these profiles. We then perform a large scale analysis of this social graph to identify profiles of high rank criminals, criminal organizations and large scale communities of criminals. Finally, we perform a manual analysis of these profiles that results in the identification of many criminally focused public groups on Facebook. This analysis demonstrates the amount of information that can be gathered by using limited data leaks.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationProceedings - 2014 IEEE Security and Privacy Workshops, SPW 2014
    PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Electronic)9781479951031
    StatePublished - Nov 13 2014
    Event2014 IEEE Computer Society's Security and Privacy Workshops, SPW 2014 - San Jose, United States
    Duration: May 17 2014May 18 2014

    Publication series

    NameProceedings - IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy
    ISSN (Print)1081-6011


    Other2014 IEEE Computer Society's Security and Privacy Workshops, SPW 2014
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Jose


    • Analysis
    • Community detection
    • Criminal networks
    • Cybercrime
    • Social graph

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
    • Software
    • Computer Networks and Communications


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