Giacomello, G., Iovanella A. & Martino, L. (2023) A Small World of Bad Guys: Investigating the Behavior of Hacker Groups in Cyber-Attacks ArXiv Pre-print

This paper explores the behaviour of malicious hacker groups operating in cyberspace and how they organize themselves in structured networks. To better understand these groups, the paper uses Social Network Analysis (SNA) to analyse the interactions and relationships among several malicious hacker groups. The study uses a tested dataset as its primary source, providing an empirical analysis of the cooperative behaviours exhibited by these groups. The study found that malicious hacker groups tend to form close-knit networks where they consult, coordinate with, and assist each other in carrying out their attacks. The study also identified a "small world" phenomenon within the population of malicious actors, which suggests that these groups establish interconnected relationships to facilitate their malicious operations. The small world phenomenon indicates that the actor-groups are densely connected, but they also have a small number of connections to other groups, allowing for efficient communication and coordination of their activities.

Aidar Zinnatullin (2023) "Political discussions in online oppositional communities in the non-democratic context" Computational Communication Research

Taking into account YouTube’s specific role in the Russian media system and the increasing level of political polarization in the country, this study examines the role of incivility in discussions and whether discussions in an anti-government community represent a place for disagreement between pro-opposition and pro-government users. I argue that an online environment helps these sides meet each other rather than creating echo chambers of like-minded users. Moreover, in the quite restrictive Russian context for political deliberation, the incivility of messages plays a role in further involving commenters in discussions. Using the corpus of comments posted in the discussion section of opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s YouTube channel, I exploited class affinity modeling to identify pro-government and pro-opposition stances. Incivility was studied based on Google’s Perspective API toxicity classifier. I found that users avoid extreme forms of incivility when interacting with other commenters, but uncivil comments are more likely to start discussion threads. Furthermore, the level of incivility in comments gets higher over time after a video release. Pro-government sentiments, on the one hand, are associated with a subsequent response from Navalny’s supporters to the out-group criticism and, on the other hand, contribute to the further formation of hubs with a pro-government narrative. This research contributes to the extant literature on affective polarization on social media, shedding light on political discussions within an oppositional community in a non-democracy.


Lista delle pubblicazioni accademiche del centro

Giacomello, Giampiero and Damiano Martinelli (2021). Crystal Clear: Investigating Databases for Research, the Case of Drone Strikes. Data 6(12): 124

Articolo originale e datasets

  • Crystal Clear All Datasets

    [ .zip 1043Kb ]

    This compressed file (.zip) includes all the datasets (as Excel files) used in this paper. Everybody is welcome to download and use it but please acknowledge the source.

  • Articolo Open Access

    Link all'articolo

Giacomello Giampiero and Oltion Preka. (2021) Targeting Reputation: A New Vector for Attacks to Critical Infrastructures. Computer and Information Science 14 (3): 1-63.

Lucas Sage , Marco Albertini, Stefani Scherer (2021). The spreading of SARS-CoV-2: Interage contacts and networks degree distribution, PLOS ONE, August.

Giacomello Giampiero and Anatolie Luca (2021). "Overlooked Yet Crucial: Data Quality and Interoperability", ISPI - Istituto per gli studi di politica internazionale, 31 maggio.

Mirko Zichichi, Stefano Ferretti, Gabriele D'Angelo (2020). Framework Based on Distributed Ledger Technologies for Data Management and Services in Intelligent Transportation Systems. IEEE Access 8(1). December. Print ISSN: 2169-3536. Online ISSN: 2169-3536.

Giacomello, Giampiero and Oltion Preka (2020). The 'Social' Side of Big Data: Teaching BD Analytics to Political Science Students. Big Data and Cognitive Computing 4(2): 13.

Moschella, Manuela, Luca Pinto, and Nicola Martocchia Diodati (2020). Let’s Speak More? How the ECB Responds to Public Contestation. Journal of European Public Policy 27 (3): 400–418.

Altmann J., Siroli G.P. (2019). CSBMs for the Cyber Realm. In: Masys A. (ed.) Handbook of Security Science. Springer, Cham

Moschella, Manuela, and Luca Pinto (2019). Central Banks’ Communication as Reputation Management: How the Fed Talks under Uncertainty. Public Administration 97 (3): 513–29.

D'Angelo Gabriele, Stefano Ferretti, Vittorio Ghini (2018). Hybrid Simulation of the Internet of Things and Smart Territories. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience 30(9). ISSN: 1532-0634.

Gian Piero Siroli (2018). Considerations on the Cyber Domain as the New Worldwide Battlefield, The International Spectator, 53:2, 111-123, DOI: 10.1080/03932729.2018.1453583