Stefan Savage from the University of California, San Diego has been selected to receive the 2015 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences.
Savage was being cited for research in network security, privacy, and reliability that has showed people how to perceive attacks and attackers as components of an integrated technological, societal, and economic framework.
Savage's approach is embodied in his recent work with collaborators to fight spam by exploring how spammers generate revenue, and what steps might be taken to neutralize this incentive.
One project involved the researchers infiltrating a botnet to extract insights about the economics of spam schemes. By monitoring millions of spam emails and identifying the individual services needed to monetize them, Savage's team built a model of dependencies in the spam supply chain. They demonstrated merchant bank accounts used to receive credit card payments were the most valuable and prone to disruption.
"Stefan Savage has shifted thinking and prompted us to ask ourselves how we might impede the fundamental support structure of an attacker," says ACM president Alexander L. Wolf. "His frameworks will continue to significantly influence network security initiatives in the coming years."
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