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Strategies for covert Web search

Weir, George R.S. and Igbako, David (2013) Strategies for covert Web search. In: Fourth Cybercrime and Trustworthy Computing Workshop (CTC), 2013. IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, United States, pp. 50-57. ISBN 9781479930753

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Abstract

Web search engines provide easy access to a wealth of open access information but depend for their optimal use upon careful selection of search terms in order to return a high proportion of relevant information. Generally, this implies a clear association between the meaning of the chosen search expression and the information needs of the searcher. In contrast, this paper considers a scenario in which the searcher may wish to retrieve information without making their information requirements transparent. We argue that careful choice of search strategy can also facilitate retrieval of relevant information in a covert fashion that conceals the searcher's intention by ensuring return of a majority of irrelevant search hits.