Houston, TX 77005
4:00 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013
On Campus | Alumni
A reception will be held prior to the talk at 3:30 PM outside of room 1070. Serendipity and Spam Nicholas Weaver ICSI & UC San Diego What happens when a large research group sets out read a billion spams? A voyage of discovery through the underground economy which provides a major economic driver for botnets, spam, and other malfeasance. This talk describes the trip, including how we could identify the major programs based on the internal structure of their web pages, evaluate the (in)effectiveness of computer-infrastructure takedown and effectiveness of financial disruption, learn how to manage the press, discover what people purchase from spamvertized pharmacies, find ground truth data about the market, and provide estimates on the total revenue derived from (the V-word) spam. Unfortunately, however, this talk is now a historical footnote, as this research also helped lead to the destruction of a hundred-million-dollar a year criminal industry: pharma spam.