Stalking Beijing from timbuktu: A generic measurement approach for exploiting location-based Social Discovery

Yuan Ding, Sai Teja Peddinti, Keith W. Ross

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

    Abstract

    The rise of smart phone usage has led to an increase in the number of applications that make use of the users' locations. One popular class of such applications is location-based social discovery (LBSD), which enables users to discover others nearby and then communicate. In this paper, we show how LBSD applications can be exploited by even weak adversaries to stalk LBSD users in any city from any location in the world. We develop an automated measurement methodology{combining faking longitude and latitude locations, smart phone emulation, task automation, and optical character recognition (OCR){that can be adapted to any LBSD service without relying on an application programming interface (API) or on reverse engineering. Although our approach is generic, we focus our study on We Chat, a popular social network. We design a scheme that can determine a discovered user's location to a narrow region. By monitoring mid-town Manhattan for seven days, we gather location information pertaining to 1745 distinct users moving in the targeted geographical region.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Pages75-80
    Number of pages6
    Volume2014-November
    EditionNovember
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 7 2014
    Event4th ACM Workshop on Security and Privacy in Smartphones and Mobile Devices, SPSM 2014, Held in Association with the 21st ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2014 - Scottsdale, United States
    Duration: Nov 7 2014 → …

    Other

    Other4th ACM Workshop on Security and Privacy in Smartphones and Mobile Devices, SPSM 2014, Held in Association with the 21st ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2014
    CountryUnited States
    CityScottsdale
    Period11/7/14 → …

    Keywords

    • Discover
    • Framework
    • Generic
    • Location
    • Privacy
    • Social networks
    • Stalk
    • We chat

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Software
    • Computer Networks and Communications

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