Identifying the authors of suspect email

Corney, Malcolm W., Anderson, Alison M., Mohay, George M., & de Vel, Olivier (2001) Identifying the authors of suspect email. [Working Paper] (Unpublished)


In this paper, we present the results of an investigation into identifying the authorship of email messages by analysis of the contents and style of the email messages themselves. A set of stylistics features applicable to text in general and an extended set of email-specific structural features were identified. A Support Vector Machine learning method was used to discriminate between the authorship classes. Through a series of baseline experiments on non-email data, it was found that approximately 20 email messages with approximately 100 words in each message should be sufficient to discriminate authorship in most cases. These results were confirmed with a corpus of email data and performance was further enhanced when a set of email-specific features were added. This outcome has important implications in the management of such problems as email abuse, anonymous email messages and computer forensics.

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ID Code: 8021
Item Type: Working Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: authorship attribution, email, stylometry, machine learning, support vector machine, data mining
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LINGUISTICS (200400) > Computational Linguistics (200402)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND IMAGE PROCESSING (080100) > Pattern Recognition and Data Mining (080109)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND IMAGE PROCESSING (080100) > Natural Language Processing (080107)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Institutes > Information Security Institute
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 The Authors
Deposited On: 06 Jun 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2017 14:38

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