Transmissible Cyber Threats in Distributed Systems

in Special Issue   Posted on August 13, 2017 

Information for the Special Issue

Special Issue Call for Papers:

Cyberspace faces a range of threats that can rapidly spread in various kinds of distributed systems. Examples include rumors spreading in social media, computer viruses on the Internet, and unexpected failures causing rolling blackouts in Smart Grids. These threats fall into the category of transmissible cyber threats due to their spreading nature in distributed environments. Each year, transmissible cyber threats have caused tremendous financial losses and damages to users in various distributed systems. For example, malware is a type of transmissible cyber threats, which has become one of the most concerning security issues in cyberspace. In another example, a fake Associated Press (AP) news release (i.e. a rumor spreading in Twitter) about a bomb exploding in the White House in 2013 led to a 1% drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, temporarily wiping out US$136 Billion dollars. Recently, researchers have found that the average time required to contain a transmissible cyber-attack was 31 days and it cost US$639,462 in distributed systems such as Internet. The costs were so high and can get higher as transmissible cyber threats grow more sophisticated and take longer time to resolve.

In distributed system field, transmissible cyber threats have been extensively studied and received considerable attention in recent years, as witnessed by the number of related publications. Among these works, modelling and restraining are the core research issues.

  • On one hand, the advances of these techniques will benefit the development of defense technologies against transmissible cyber threats in various distributed systems. For example, researchers use propagation models to develop robust techniques to trace threat diffusion sources and disclose potential diffusion paths. Modelling and restraining techniques can also help develop risk assessment methods on exposing compromised Internet users. In addition, modelling will contribute to develop interactive algorithms to capture the threat dynamics and examine the effectiveness of defense strategies.
  • On the other hand, due to their scale, complexity and heterogeneity in distributed systems, a number of technical and practical challenges in this field have not been addressed. For example, current modelling techniques have not been widely accepted as common exercises due to their limitations on presenting key attributes of real-world propagation dynamics. These attributes such as Time Zone and geographical factors greatly influence the modelling accuracy and restraining efficiency.

We therefore organize this special issue to reduce the gap between practices and academic research. This special issue will bring together researchers in distributed system field to publish state-of-art research findings in transmissible cyber threats, particularly focusing on propagation modelling, threat restraining, and their theoretical and applied techniques.


This special issue focuses on, but certainly not limited to, the following distributed system research:

  • Cybersecurity dynamics theory in distributed systems
  • Cybersecurity dynamics simulation in distributed systems
  • Cybersecurity dynamics modelling technologies in distributed systems
  • Malware propagation laws and control strategy
  • Rumour propagation laws and control strategy
  • Positive/Negative information propagation laws in online social networks
  • Rumour promoting/control strategy in online social networks
  • Influential node identification algorithms in large-scale networks
  • Virus source identification algorithms in various distributed systems
  • Virus propagation theory based on real data
  • Application of virus propagation theory in various distributed systems
  • Risk assessment based on cybersecurity dynamics
  • Source identification based on cybersecurity dynamics
  • Cybersecurity dynamics in social communities

Important Dates

Submission Due January 31, 2018

1st Round Notification:May 1, 2018

Final Notification: June 1, 2018

Publication: 2018

Submission Guidelines:

Each paper (including the invited papers from the conference) will go through a rigorous peer-review process by at least three international researchers. Please submit your paper according to the Guide for authors via Please select “SI: Transmissible Security” in the step of selecting article type name in submission process.

Guest Editors    

Sheng Wen
E-mail: [email protected]
Center of Cyber Security Research, School of Information Technology,
Deakin University, Australia,
225 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC 3125.

Cliff Zou
E-mail: [email protected] 
Department of Computer Science,
University of Central Florida,
4000 Central Florida Blvd. Orlando, FL 32816-2362.

Aniello Castiglione
E-mail: [email protected]
Department of Information,
Salerno and University of Naples, Italy,
Via Giovanni Paolo II, 132 ; I-84084 Fisciano (Salerno) ; Italy.

Kim-Kwang Raymond Choo
E-mail: [email protected] 
Department of Information Systems and Cyber Security,
The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA,
1 UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249-3209.

Shouhuai Xu
E-mail: [email protected] 
Department of Computer Science,
University of Texas at San Antonio,
One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249.

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