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Computer Virus Propagation in a Network Organization: The Interplay between Social and Technological Networks

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Abstract

This paper proposes a holistic view of a network organization’s computing environment to examine computer virus propagation patterns. We empirically examine a large-scale organizational network consisting of both social network and technological network. By applying information retrieval techniques, we map nodes in the social network to nodes in the technological network to construct the composite network of the organization. We apply social network analysis to study the topologies of social and technological networks in this organization. We statistically test the impact of the interplay between social and technological network on computer virus propagation using a susceptible-infective-recovered epidemic process. We find that computer viruses propagate faster but reach lower level of infection through technological network than through social network, and viruses propagate the fastest and reach the highest level of infection through the composite network. Overlooking the interplay of social network and technological network underestimates the virus propagation speed and the scale of infection.

Suggested Citation

  • Hsing Kenneth Cheng & Hong Guo, 2008. "Computer Virus Propagation in a Network Organization: The Interplay between Social and Technological Networks," Working Papers 08-24, NET Institute, revised Oct 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0824
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    File URL: http://www.netinst.org/Cheng_Guo_08-24.pdf
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    1. Cristopher Moore & M. E. J. Newman, 2000. "Epidemics and Percolation in Small-World Networks," Working Papers 00-01-002, Santa Fe Institute.
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    Keywords

    social network analysis; interplay between social and technological networks; computer viruses;

    JEL classification:

    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • C89 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Other

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