Publications

Refine Results

(Filters Applied) Clear All

Prototype and analytics for discovery and exploitation of threat networks on social media

Published in:
2019 European Intelligence and Security Informatics Conference, EISIC, 26-27 November 2019.

Summary

Identifying and profiling threat actors are high priority tasks for a number of governmental organizations. These threat actors may operate actively, using the Internet to promote propaganda, recruit new members, or exert command and control over their networks. Alternatively, threat actors may operate passively, demonstrating operational security awareness online while using their Internet presence to gather information they need to pose an offline physical threat. This paper presents a flexible new prototype system that allows analysts to automatically detect, monitor and characterize threat actors and their networks using publicly available information. The proposed prototype system fills a need in the intelligence community for a capability to automate manual construction and analysis of online threat networks. Leveraging graph sampling approaches, we perform targeted data collection of extremist social media accounts and their networks. We design and incorporate new algorithms for role classification and radicalization detection using insights from social science literature of extremism. Additionally, we develop and implement analytics to facilitate monitoring the dynamic social networks over time. The prototype also incorporates several novel machine learning algorithms for threat actor discovery and characterization, such as classification of user posts into discourse categories, user post summaries and gender prediction.
READ LESS

Summary

Identifying and profiling threat actors are high priority tasks for a number of governmental organizations. These threat actors may operate actively, using the Internet to promote propaganda, recruit new members, or exert command and control over their networks. Alternatively, threat actors may operate passively, demonstrating operational security awareness online while...

READ MORE

Characterization of disinformation networks using graph embeddings and opinion mining

Published in:
2019 European Intelligence and Security Informatics Conference, EISIC, 26-27 November 2019.

Summary

Global social media networks' omnipresent access, real time responsiveness and ability to connect with and influence people have been responsible for these networks' sweeping growth. However, as an unintended consequence, these defining characteristics helped create a powerful new technology for spread of propaganda and false information. We present a novel approach for characterizing disinformation networks on social media and distinguishing between different network roles using graph embeddings and hierarchical clustering. In addition, using topic filtering, we correlate the node characterization results with proxy opinion estimates.We plan to study opinion dynamics using signal processing on graphs approaches using longer-timescale social media datasets with the goal to model and infer influence among users in social media networks.
READ LESS

Summary

Global social media networks' omnipresent access, real time responsiveness and ability to connect with and influence people have been responsible for these networks' sweeping growth. However, as an unintended consequence, these defining characteristics helped create a powerful new technology for spread of propaganda and false information. We present a novel...

READ MORE

Influence estimation on social media networks using causal inference

Published in:
Proc. IEEE Statistical Signal Processing (SSP) Workshop, 10-13 June 2018.

Summary

Estimating influence on social media networks is an important practical and theoretical problem, especially because this new medium is widely exploited as a platform for disinformation and propaganda. This paper introduces a novel approach to influence estimation on social media networks and applies it to the real-world problem of characterizing active influence operations on Twitter during the 2017 French presidential elections. The new influence estimation approach attributes impact by accounting for narrative propagation over the network using a network causal inference framework applied to data arising from graph sampling and filtering. This causal framework infers the difference in outcome as a function of exposure, in contrast to existing approaches that attribute impact to activity volume or topological features, which do not explicitly measure nor necessarily indicate actual network influence. Cramér-Rao estimation bounds are derived for parameter estimation as a step in the causal analysis, and used to achieve geometrical insight on the causal inference problem. The ability to infer high causal influence is demonstrated on real-world social media accounts that are later independently confirmed to be either directly affiliated or correlated with foreign influence operations using evidence supplied by the U.S. Congress and journalistic reports.
READ LESS

Summary

Estimating influence on social media networks is an important practical and theoretical problem, especially because this new medium is widely exploited as a platform for disinformation and propaganda. This paper introduces a novel approach to influence estimation on social media networks and applies it to the real-world problem of characterizing...

READ MORE

XLab: early indications & warning from open source data with application to biological threat

Published in:
Proc. 51st Hawaii Int. Conf. on System Sciences, HICSS 2018, pp. 944-953.

Summary

XLab is an early warning system that addresses a broad range of national security threats using a flexible, rapidly reconfigurable architecture. XLab enables intelligence analysts to visualize, explore, and query a knowledge base constructed from multiple data sources, guided by subject matter expertise codified in threat model graphs. This paper describes a novel system prototype that addresses threats arising from biological weapons of mass destruction. The prototype applies knowledge extraction analytics—including link estimation, entity disambiguation, and event detection—to build a knowledge base of 40 million entities and 140 million relationships from open sources. Exact and inexact subgraph matching analytics enable analysts to search the knowledge base for instances of modeled threats. The paper introduces new methods for inexact matching that accommodate threat models with temporal and geospatial patterns. System performance is demonstrated using several simplified threat models and an embedded scenario.
READ LESS

Summary

XLab is an early warning system that addresses a broad range of national security threats using a flexible, rapidly reconfigurable architecture. XLab enables intelligence analysts to visualize, explore, and query a knowledge base constructed from multiple data sources, guided by subject matter expertise codified in threat model graphs. This paper...

READ MORE

A reverse approach to named entity extraction and linking in microposts

Published in:
Proc. of the 6th Workshop on "Making Sense of Microposts" (part of: 25th Int. World Wide Web Conf., 11 April 2016), #Microposts2016, pp. 67-69.

Summary

In this paper, we present a pipeline for named entity extraction and linking that is designed specifically for noisy, grammatically inconsistent domains where traditional named entity techniques perform poorly. Our approach leverages a large knowledge base to improve entity recognition, while maintaining the use of traditional NER to identify mentions that are not co-referent with any entities in the knowledge base.
READ LESS

Summary

In this paper, we present a pipeline for named entity extraction and linking that is designed specifically for noisy, grammatically inconsistent domains where traditional named entity techniques perform poorly. Our approach leverages a large knowledge base to improve entity recognition, while maintaining the use of traditional NER to identify mentions...

READ MORE

Named entity recognition in 140 characters or less

Published in:
Proc. of the 6th Workshop on "Making Sense of Microposts" (part of: 25th Int. World Wide Web Conf., 11 April 2016), #Microposts2016, pp. 78-79.

Summary

In this paper, we explore the problem of recognizing named entities in microposts, a genre with notoriously little context surrounding each named entity and inconsistent use of grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling conventions by authors. In spite of the challenges associated with information extraction from microposts, it remains an increasingly important genre. This paper presents the MIT Information Extraction Toolkit (MITIE) and explores its adaptability to the micropost genre.
READ LESS

Summary

In this paper, we explore the problem of recognizing named entities in microposts, a genre with notoriously little context surrounding each named entity and inconsistent use of grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling conventions by authors. In spite of the challenges associated with information extraction from microposts, it remains an increasingly...

READ MORE

Showing Results

1-6 of 6