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Undetectable Communication: The Online Social Networks Case

Filipe Beato‚ Emiliano De Cristofaro and Kasper B. Rasmussen


Online Social Networks (OSNs) provide users with an easy way to share content, communicate, and update others about their activities. They also play an increasingly fundamental role in coordinating and amplifying grassroots movements, as demonstrated by recent uprisings in, e.g., Egypt, Tunisia, and Turkey. At the same time, OSNs have become primary targets of tracking, profiling, as well as censorship and surveillance. In this paper, we explore the notion of undetectable communication in OSNs and introduce formal definitions, alongside system and adversarial models, that complement better understood notions of anonymity and confidentiality. We present a novel scheme for secure covert information sharing that, to the best of our knowledge, is the first to achieve undetectable communication in OSNs. We demonstrate, via an open-source prototype, that additional costs are tolerably low.

Book Title
Privacy‚ Security and Trust (PST)