Email networks and the spread of computer viruses

M. E.J. Newman, Stephanie Forrest, Justin Balthrop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

636 Scopus citations


Many computer viruses spread via electronic mail, making use of computer users’ email address books as a source for email addresses of new victims. These address books form a directed social network of connections between individuals over which the virus spreads. Here we investigate empirically the structure of this network using data drawn from a large computer installation, and discuss the implications of this structure for the understanding and prevention of computer virus epidemics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 10 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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