Dirty jobs: The role of freelance labor in web service abuse

Marti Motoyama, Damon McCoy, Kirill Levchenko, Stefan Savage, Geoffrey M. Voelker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Modern Web services inevitably engender abuse, as attackers find ways to exploit a service and its user base. However, while defending against such abuse is generally considered a technical endeavor, we argue that there is an increasing role played by human labor markets. Using over seven years of data from the popular crowdsourcing site Freelancer.com, as well data from our own active job solicitations, we characterize the labor market involved in service abuse. We identify the largest classes of abuse work, including account creation, social networking link generation and search engine optimization support, and characterize how pricing and demand have evolved in supporting this activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th USENIX Security Symposium
PublisherUSENIX Association
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781931971874
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event20th USENIX Security Symposium - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Aug 8 2011Aug 12 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 20th USENIX Security Symposium


Conference20th USENIX Security Symposium
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Dirty jobs: The role of freelance labor in web service abuse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Motoyama, M., McCoy, D., Levchenko, K., Savage, S., & Voelker, G. M. (2011). Dirty jobs: The role of freelance labor in web service abuse. In Proceedings of the 20th USENIX Security Symposium (pp. 203-218). (Proceedings of the 20th USENIX Security Symposium). USENIX Association.