Social Media & Faux News Forensics

When: 11th Oct 2017, 13:00 - 11th Oct 2017, 18:30
Where: Anglia Ruskin University, Lord Ashcroft Building (LAB003), East Road, Cambridge, CB1 1PT
Town/City: Cambridge
Price: Free
Further Information: Further Information

Hosted by the Cyber Security & Networking Research Group, Anglia Ruskin University, and jointly with BCS DevSecOps & Cybercrime Forensics Specialist Group’s and OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) Cambridge Chapter.

As the digital world we knew continues to endlessly evolve, we must continue to adapt how we conduct cyber investigations. Evidence sources continue to grow rapidly. If we fail to keep up, the collection and validation of evidence during a cyber investigation will become a much more fraught task. For those investigators with a thorough understanding of how to leverage improvements in technology combined with the growing wealth of information available online, the evidence extracted during a digital forensic investigation ultimately created a more solid case.

Cyber investigations involving social media and social networks are becoming the norm. With new applications, links, techniques, and roadblocks discovered daily, social networks are rapidly progressing. Common platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are are are becoming a smaller part of an ever growing and changing landscape. There are also many other evolving and changing social networks like Google Plus, Quora, Instagram, Groupon, Pinterest, and LoveIt and thats not even counting the thousands of blogs and special interest forums that exist

With so much relevant evidence available on social media. there are also many new issues which are different from what investigators have traditionally dealt with in traditional digital forensics. In the past digital forensics investigators understood the terms and conditions for extracting digital evidence from a piece of hardware in the possession of the investigator, such as a computer hard drive or the flash memory on a smartphone. The evidence obtained could easily be corroborated by a third party if someone challenged how investigators had carried their work, a third party could easily corroborate the findings by reviewing the same hard drive which the investigator kept in an evidence store however this is certainly not the case with social media...

An alarming phenomenon of this rise in social media use is the growth of “faux or fake news” issue. While this concept has many synonyms - disinformation campaigns, cyber propaganda, cognitive hacking, and information warfare - it’s just one facet of a much larger problem: the manipulation of public opinion to affect the real world. Due to global digital connectivity and platforms making it possible to share and spread information, traditional challenges such as physical borders and time/distance constraints no longer exist.

Fake news is the promotion and propagation of news articles via social media. These articles are promoted in such a way that they appear to be spread by other users, as opposed to being paid-for advertising. The news stories distributed are designed to influence or manipulate users’ opinions on a certain topic towards certain objectives. For example, by manipulating the balance of how a particular topic is reported (whether that concerns politics, foreign affairs or something more commercial), the views on that topic can be changed. This can be done either with inaccurate facts or with accurate ones twisted to favour a particular view or side.