Wenbo He, Xue Liu, Mai Ren. Location Cheating: A Security Challenge to Location-based Social Network Services


Natural Sciences / Computer Science / Computer architecture

Submitted on: Sep 17, 2012, 18:34:43

Description: Location-based mobile social network services such as foursquare and Gowalla have grown exponentially over the past several years. These location-based services utilize the geographical position to enrich user experiences in a variety of contexts, including location-based searching and location-based mobile advertising. To attract more users, the location-based mobile social network services provide real-world rewards to the user, when a user checks in at a certain venue or location. This gives incentives for users to cheat on their locations. In this report, we investigate the threat of location cheating attacks, find the root cause of the vulnerability, and outline the possible defending mechanisms. We use foursquare as an example to introduce a novel location cheating attack, which can easily pass the current location verification mechanism (e.g., cheater code of foursquare). We also crawl the foursquare website. By analyzing the crawled data, we show that automated large scale cheating is possible.

The abstract of this article will be published in the September 2012 issue of "Intellectual Archive Bulletin", ISSN 1929-1329.

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Wenbo_He__Location_Cheating.pdf



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