Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cybersecurity Expert and Computer Science Professor Stefan Savage Giving Lecture

Inside the Mind of an Internet Criminal: How Economics Impact Cyber Security

Presented by: Stefan Savage, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering University of California, San Diego

Program Overview

When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton famously responded, "Because that's where the money is." Today, the same sentiment is widely applied to the Internet as well. The tremendous growth of on-line commerce has made Internet users, their computers and their data a valuable target for criminal actors. Compounding this raw opportunity, the Internet itself provides a uniquely efficient capability for perpetrating these crimes at scale. Indeed, over the last decade, the ability to easily compromise large numbers of Internet hosts has emerged as the backbone of a vibrant criminal economy encompassing unsolicited bulk-email, denial-of-service extortion, piracy, phishing and identity theft. Both the underlying platform (botnets) and the vertical applications built upon it (e.g., Spam, credit card theft, etc.) are themselves market commodities, bought and sold on the underground, and under constant pressure to innovate. However, in spite of the fact that virtually all on-line crime is economically motivated, the underlying economics are poorly understood and even more poorly quantified. Absent such knowledge, today's computer security efforts are inherently unfocused -- all the more so due to our inability to evaluate improvements to security on any quantitative basis. In this talk, Dr. Savage will survey this landscape and what is known about the criminal ecosystem underlying it, describe the fundamental asymmetries that have emerged between attacker and defender, and suggest a way forward for the security community.

Who Should Attend

Scientists, engineers, physicians, healthcare leaders, venture capitalists, technology and life sciences professionals, services providers, and business leaders.

About the presenter

Stefan Savage is an associate professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington and a B.S. in Applied History from Carnegie-Mellon University. Savage's research interests lie at the intersection of operating systems, networking and computer security and he currently serves as director of the Cooperative Center for Internet Epidemiology and Defenses (CCIED), a joint effort between UCSD and the International Computer Science Institute. Savage is a fairly down-to-earth guy and only writes about himself in the third person when asked.

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Please contact Bethany Kraynack at 858.964.1312 or

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