The purpose of this project is to understand collective information processing in malicious hacker communities on the deep and dark web. Previous research has advanced the understanding of the computational and network structures of the dark web. However, these endeavors are missing the social scientific insights on the human-side of the dark web. This project will build and test a social psychology theory-driven model, referred to as the Cybergroup Information Processing (CIP) model. By elaborating on hackers communicative processes, the model intends to investigate ways in which different information processing systems (experiential, rational, and social processing) emerge and affect uncertainty management strategies within the dark web communities. Several high-uncertainty events will be studied for empirical applications. We will (1) develop the CIP model framework based on the related social psychology and communication literature and pilot results (Year 1); (2) apply the CIP model to address how hackers communicative processes differ between high- and low-uncertainty contexts, based on content and statistical analyses (Years 2 and 3); and (3) develop computational approaches to predict the periods of uncertainty in a large data environment (Years 2 and 3). By offering a generalizable theoretical framework that is applicable across multiple communities, we anticipate not only attaining a better understanding of uncertainty management in the dark web but also advancing social scientific knowledge on the collective decision-making processes of hidden cyber communities.
|Effective start/end date||2/1/19 → 1/31/22|
- DOD-ARMY: Army Materiel Command (AMC): $328,653.00