Social network analysis of a criminal hacker community

Yong Lu, Xin Luo, Michael Polgar, Yuanyuan Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Computer crime hackers have been identified as a primary threat to computer systems, users, and organizations. Much extant research on hackers is conducted from a technical perspective and at an individual level of analysis. This research empirically examines the social organization of a hacker community by analyzing one network called Shadowcrew. The social network structure of this infamous hacker group is established using social networking methods for text mining and network analysis. Analysis of relationships among hackers shows a decentralized network structure. Leaders are identified using four actor centrality measures (degree, betweenness, closeness, and eigenvector) and found to be more involved in thirteen smaller sub-groups. Based on our social network analysis, Shadowcrew exhibits the characteristics of deviant team organization structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Computer Information Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Education
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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