The Department of Computer Science at the University of Cyprus cordially invites you to the Seminar entitled:

Spam Value Chain: Defensive Intervention Analysis

Speaker: Andreas Pitsillidis
Affiliation: University of California - San Diego, USA
Category: Seminar
Location: Room 148, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences (FST-01), 1 University Avenue, 2109 Nicosia, Cyprus (directions)
Date: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Time: 15:00-16:00 EET
Host: Andreas Pitsillides (Andreas.Pitsillides AT

Much of computer security research today engages a hypothetical adversary: one whose aims and methods are either arbitrary or driven by some pre-supposed model of behavior. However, in many cases, the scope, motivation and technical evolution of actual attacks can be quite different and leads to a model where our research frequently trails the "truth on the ground". At the same time, our present ability to gather, process and analyze data concerning Internet activity is unmatched and thus there are tremendous opportunities in advancing a regime of "data-driven security", wherein our understanding of the adversary, of our vulnerable users and of the efficacy of our current defenses and interventions can be placed on a strong empirical footing. In this talk, we will focus on the spam ecosystem and related threats, and look into the possible defensive intervention levels. We will do so both from the perspective of the attackers, in order to get a solid understanding of how they operate, and also from the perspective of the users. We will also use this analysis as input, for proposing new effective defenses to these threats.

Short Bio:
Andreas Pitsillidis is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, San Diego. He completed his undergraduate studies at the Department of Computer Science in the University of Cyprus. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and joined UC San Diego in 2007, and received his M.Sc. from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in 2010. His research interests lie in the general area of computer security, with an emphasis on botnets, spam, phishing and DNS abuse techniques. His most recent work includes collaborations with Microsoft Research, Google and UC Berkeley.

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