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Why They Dox: First Large-Scale Study Reveals Top Motivations and Targets for This Form of Cyber Bullying

By NYU Tandon School of Engineering

November 13, 2017

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Researchers at New York University (NYU) and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) say they have published the first large-scale study of doxing, a low-tech, high-harm form of online harassment that involves collecting and publishing sensitive personal information online to exact revenge, seek justice, or intimidate victims.

The researchers created a custom text classifier that enabled them to identify and analyze dox files, and they found doxing victims are more likely than others to close or increase the privacy settings of social media accounts following an attack.

The team also found that revenge and justice are the primary motivators for doxing attacks, while competition and politics comprise only 1% each of the reasons identified by the study.

"The ability to detect doxing and identify the primary motivations for these attacks is key to helping Internet service providers, law enforcement, and social media networks better protect users from harassment," says NYU professor Damon McCoy.

From NYU Tandon School of Engineering
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Abstracts Copyright © 2017 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA

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