Feeds

Facebook donates cash seized from spammers to cyber CSI lab

Ill-gotten $250k for Koobface, GhostClick takedown team

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Facebook has donated $250k it seized from spammers to an academic centre of excellence in the fight against cybercrime.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham's Center for Information Assurance and Joint Forensics Research will use the cash to build an expanded version of the faculty, due to open next year. The centre helped researchers at Facebook to track down the infamous Koobface gang and helped to unravel the even more notorious GhostClick (DNSChanger) scam, among other work.

Notable researchers at the centre include Gary Warner, Director of Research in Computer Forensics and co-chair of Anti-Phishing Working Group. Warner also runs the well read CyberCrime & Doing Time blog.

"As a result of numerous collaborations over the years, Facebook recognizes the center as both a partner in fighting Internet abuse, and as a critical player in developing future experts who will become dedicated cybersecurity professionals," says Joe Sullivan, chief security officer at Facebook, in a statement. "The center has earned this gift for their successes in fighting cybercrime and because of the need for formal cybersecurity education to better secure everyone’s data across the world."

The donation itself will be widely applauded in security circles even though the Koobface investigation remains controversial. In January 2012, the New York Times publicly named five people security researchers have fingered as prime suspects in the spread of the Koobface worm, a strain of malware that has bedevilled social networking users (particularly on Facebook) since late 2008. Koobface, which was unusually sophisticated, earned scammers income principally through pay-per-install malware.

Critics argue that the disclosure was premature and served only to tip off the suspects, who subsequently went to ground. Whatever the truth of that, no arrests or lawsuits have been filed as a result of the investigation. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.