BigSnarf blog

Infosec FTW

Using MapReduce for Fraud Detection and Prevention


Voting Rings and Sock Puppets

Voting ring is a collective of accounts (aka sockpuppets) that are used to upvote or downvote. It could be considered voter fraud.

Detection algorithms are used to find unusual voting patterns, and groups of people voting with each other.  If a voting ring is discovered, the usual route is to invalidate the group’s votes and suspend the accounts.

Voting rings and “sockpuppetry” are challenges faced in online communities that use some form of voting like StackOverflow, Hacker News, Reddit, Digg, and Quora.  4Chan is famous for gaming voting systems online.

MapReduce can be used for solving the fraud detection problem:

  1. Sampling does not work for events that hide amongst regular transactions
  2. Reviewing the complete transaction history reduces missing reviewing the transaction during sampling
  3. MR overcomes limitations of SMP by leveraging multiple cores across thousands of machines
  4. MR can be combined with other tools like distributed sensor network to lower response latency
  5. Can shorten processing times from hours to minutes

Detection algorithms can also help detect telecom fraud:

  • Subscription fraud
  • Technical/network fraud
  • Insider fraud
  • Handset abuse
  • Social engineering

Proposed methodology to solve challenge:

  • Identification of required data
  • Determination of a training set
  • Determination of the input feature representation
  • Algorithm selection
  • Model Assessment

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