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A work highlights the lack of robustness collaborative recommender systems exhibit against attack. This vulnerability can lead to significantly biased recommendations for target items. Here, we examine such attacks from a cost perspective, focusing on how attack size - that is, the number of ratings inserted - affects attack success. We introduce a framework for quantifying the gains attackers realize, taking into account the financial cost of mounting the attack. A cost-benefit analysis of third-party attacks on recommender systems shows that attackers realize profits even when incurring costs associated with rating insertions.
Date of Publication: May-June 2007