3 years ago

The spreading of computer viruses on time-varying networks.

Terry Brett, George Loukas, Yamir Moreno, Nicola Perra

Social networks have gradually turned into prime means for the spreading of computer viruses, especially of those that employ social engineering deception strategies. Yet the study of their propagation typically neglects the temporal nature of social interactions, as well as that the susceptibility of online users is not homogenous. Conversely, the study of individual users' susceptibility to cyber threats neglects their connections. Here, we address these limitations with a theoretical framework that captures both susceptibility to deception and the time-varying nature of social networks. Our analysis identifies where the coupling of susceptibility and time-varying connectivity favors the spreading of a virus. Comparison between our analytical and simulation results for two types of realistic viruses shows that accurate representation of the spreading power of computer viruses in social networks requires taking into account the networks' dynamics and their interplay with the characteristics of the users.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1901.02801

DOI: arXiv:1901.02801v1

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