Paper on Detecting Spearfishing Awarded Facebook's Internet Defense Prize

Presentation of Internet Defense Prize
Presentation of Internet Defense Prize at USENIX Security Symposium

The paper “Detecting Credential Spearphishing Attacks in Enterprise Settings” won Facebook’s Internet Defense Prize at the USENIX Security Symposium in Vancouver, BC. Co-author Vern Paxson is head of networking at security research at ICSI. The paper proposed and evaluated a methodology for effectively detecting spearphishing attacks in corporate networks while achieving a very low number of false positives. Facebook posted an article about the award, explaining that the research is important for two reasons, "First, in recent history, successful spearphishing attacks have led to a number of prominent information leaks. Every time the community improves the detection or prevention of compromise from a technical standpoint, the human factor becomes an even stronger focal point of adversaries. Helping protect people from social engineering attacks becomes even more important. This research can help reduce the potential of such compromises happening in the future. Secondly, the authors acknowledge and account for the cost of false positives in their detection methodology. This is significant because it factors into the overhead cost and response time for incident response teams." The paper was a collaboration between scientists from ICSI, UC Berkeley, and Berkeley Lab (LBL).

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