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Talk by Michalis Faloutsos

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Michalis Faloutsos who is currently a faculty member at the Computer Science Dpt and Director of Entrepreneurship in the University of California Riverside, will give a talk on "Can we reduce the first-mover-advantage of cyber-hackers?" on Tuesday, April 4th, on the 6th floor (606 room) of the Evelpidon Str. building (graduate program building) of the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB)

Talk abstract: Can we do better than just waiting for the next attack to happen? We aruge that security should become more proactive in order to minimize the damage that an attack, such as a DDoS or a virus, can have. This is a very ambitious goal, but we believe that we are making significant first steps towards it. Specifically, our work focuses on the following questions: a) Can we improve network security by mining social media? b)Can we analyze malware to detect artifacts that can help us block or even eliminate them? We present our efforts that attempt to address the above questions. First, we develop a systematic approach to extract actionable information from social media, focusing on security forums. Specifically, we develop RIPEx, a hands-free method to extract IP addresses, that are reported as malicious in the forums. The results are very encouraging: a handful of such forums can provide 4 times more malicious IP addresses compared to the well-known VirusTotal repository. Second, we present the value of the information that we can extract by analyzing malware binaries that target routers and IoT devices. To automate the study of such malware, we develop, RARE, a systematic and comprehensive system to extract patterns and communication artifacts that can help detect and contain malware, and also point us to the communication and control points of botnets.

Presenter's biography: Michalis Faloutsos is a faculty member at the Computer Science Dpt and Director of Entrepreneurship in the University of California Riverside. He got his bachelor's degree at the National Technical University of Athens and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. at the University of Toronto. His interests include, network and systems security, online social networks analytics, and network measurements. With his two brothers, he co-authored the paper "On powerlaws of the Internet topology" (SIGCOMM'99), which received the "Test of Time" award from ACM SIGCOMM. His research has resulted in more than 18K citations, an h-index greater than 56, and an i10-index greater than 120. His work has been supported by many NSF, DHS, ARL, and DAPRA grants, for a cumulative amount of more than $12M. He is the co-founder of, a web-security start-up, which got acquired by Cloudflare in November 2013. In Aug 2014, he co-founded, which provides product development as a service and grew to 55 people by its third year.