Document Type


Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Cyber forensics, Computer forensics, Online social networks, Hackers


Computer Engineering | Computer Sciences | Electrical and Computer Engineering | Forensic Science and Technology | Information Security


Online Social Networks (OSNs) have grown exponentially over the past decade. The initial use of social media for benign purposes (e.g., to socialize with friends, browse pictures and photographs, and communicate with family members overseas) has now transitioned to include malicious activities (e.g., cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and cyberwarfare). These nefarious uses of OSNs poses a signi_cant threat to society, and thus requires research attention. In this exploratory work, we study activities of one deviant groups: hacker groups on social media, which we term Deviant Hacker Networks (DHN). We investigated the connection between different DHNs on Twitter: how they are connected, identified the powerful nodes, which nodes sourced information, and which nodes act as “bridges” between different network components. From this, we were able to identify and articulate specific examples of DHNs communicating with each other, with the goal of committing some form of deviant act online. In our work, we also attempted to bridge the gap between the empirical study of OSNs and cyber forensics, as the growth of OSNs is now bringing these two domains together, due to OSNs continuously generating vast amounts of evidentiary data.


Copyright (c) 2016 Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Dr. Baggili was appointed to the University of New Haven's Elder Family Endowed Chair in 2015.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publisher Citation

Al-khateeb, Samer, Conlan, Kevin J., Agarwal, Nitin, Baggili, Ibrahim, and Breitinger, Frank. "Exploring Deviant Hacker Networks (DHN) On Social Media Platforms." Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law 11, no. 2 (2016): 7-20.

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