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Fake Profile Identification on Online Social Networks



Online social networks are web-based applications that allow user to communicate and share knowledge and information. The number of users who make use of these platforms are experiencing rapid growth both in profile creation and social interaction. However, intruders and malicious attackers have found their way into the networks, using fake profiles, thus exposing user to serious security and privacy problem.  Every user in the online social network should verify and authenticate their identities, with the other users as they interact. However, currently verification of user’s profiles and identities is faced with challenges, to the extent that a user may represent their identity with many profiles without any effective method of identity verification. As a result of this vulnerability, attackers create fake profiles which they use in attacking the online social system. In addition, online social networks use a logically centered architecture, where their control and management are under a service; provider, who must be entrusted with the security of data and communication traces; this further increases the vulnerability to attacks and online threats. In this paper, we demonstrate the causes and effects of fake profiles on online social networks, and then provide a review of the state-of-the-art mechanism for identifying and mitigating fake profiles on online social networks.

Keywords: online social networks, fake profiles, sybil attack, fake accounts