Strategies for covert Web search

George R.S. Weir, David Igbako

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

1 Citation (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFourth Cybercrime and Trustworthy Computing Workshop (CTC), 2013
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ, United States
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781479930753
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • covert Web search
  • hiding intent
  • obfuscation techniques
  • information retrieval


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