Online Social Deception and Its Countermeasures: A Survey

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We are living in an era when online communication over social network services (SNSs) have become an indispensable part of people's everyday lives. As a consequence, online social deception (OSD) in SNSs has emerged as a serious threat in cyberspace, particularly for users vulnerable to such cyberattacks. Cyber attackers have exploited the sophisticated features of SNSs to carry out harmful OSD activities, such as financial fraud, privacy threat, or sexual/labor exploitation. Therefore, it is critical to understand OSD and develop effective countermeasures against OSD for building trustworthy SNSs. In this paper, we conduct an extensive survey, covering 1) the multidisciplinary concept of social deception; 2) types of OSD attacks and their unique characteristics compared to other social network attacks and cybercrimes; 3) comprehensive defense mechanisms embracing prevention, detection, and response (or mitigation) against OSD attacks along with their pros and cons; 4) datasets/metrics used for validation and verification; and 5) legal and ethical concerns related to OSD research. Based on this survey, we provide insights into the effectiveness of countermeasures and the lessons learned from the existing literature. We conclude our survey with in-depth discussions on the limitations of the state-of-the-art and suggest future research directions in OSD research.

Online social deception, cyberattacks, security, defense, prevention, detection, and response, social media, online social networks