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Beato F.,ESAT COSIC KU Leuven and IMinds | Conti M.,University of Padua | Preneel B.,ESAT COSIC KU Leuven and IMinds | Vettore D.,University of Padua
2014 IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security, CNS 2014 | Year: 2014

The tremendous popularity of Online Social Networks (OSNs), such as Facebook and Google+, has accustomed people to an easy and reliable process of social interactions. Inherently, the huge amount of information disseminated and the sensitive information possessed by OSNs prompted several privacy concerns. In order to increase the privacy of OSNs users, several solutions proposed the use of encryption and masking techniques to conceal profile information or the content of exchanged messages. Unfortunately, even when such countermeasures are in place, the OSNs can still infer sensitive information based on the social network structure and the behavior of users. In this paper, we present VirtualFriendShip, a novel solution that allows users to hide their real social network structure, and to browse the OSNs while keeping their actions anonymous. To do so, we introduce the concept of routing friends, which are build upon the social trust and relay other users traffic throughout a decentralized channel. We demonstrate the feasibility of our solution via a prototype implementation of VirtualFriendShip for Facebook. Alongside with a set of experiments we show that the additional costs are tolerable to end users. © 2014 IEEE.

Beato F.,ESAT COSIC KU Leuven and iMinds | Meul S.,ESAT COSIC KU Leuven and iMinds | Preneel B.,ESAT COSIC KU Leuven and iMinds
Computer Communications | Year: 2015

Online Social Networks (OSNs) constitute vital communication and information sharing channels. Unfortunately, existing coarse-grained privacy preferences insufficiently protect the shared information. Although cryptographic techniques provide interesting mechanisms to protect privacy, several issues remain problematic, such as, OSN provider acceptance, user adoption, key management and usability. To mitigate these problems, we propose a practical solution that uses Identity-Based Encryption to simplify key management and enforce data confidentiality. Moreover, we devise an Identity-Based outsider anonymous private sharing scheme to disseminate information among multiple users. Furthermore, we demonstrate the viability and tolerable overhead of our solution via an open-source prototype. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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