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Brad Petersen
Director of
Communications
2052 ECE Building
306 N. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 244-6376
bradp@illinois.edu

Contact Info

Meg Dickinson
Communications Specialist
2016 ECE Building
306 N. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 300-6664
megd@illinois.edu

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Recent News

New ECE class gives students an in-depth look at the engineering process

New ECE class gives students an in-depth look at the engineering process

Starting this semester, ECE ILLINOIS will offer students an opportunity to study the engineering design process and possibly get a head start on their Senior Design projects with a new class called ECE 398, Special Topics in ECE.

Nicol Wins Best Paper Award

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By Jennifer Applequist, Information Trust Institute
January 12, 2011

  • ECE Professor David M. Nicol and ECE alumnus Kurt Thomas won the Best Paper Award at MALWARE 2010.
  • Their paper examined the Koobface botnet, a computer worm that has aggressively exploited online social networks.
  • They found that the strategy used by the social network was highly ineffective.

David M. Nicol
David M. Nicol

ECE Professor David M. Nicol and ECE alumnus (BSEE ’07, MSEE ’10) Kurt Thomas won the Best Paper Award at MALWARE 2010. Nicol is a researcher in the Information Trust Institute.

The paper, entitled "The Koobface Botnet and the Rise of Social Malware," examines the Koobface botnet, which has aggressively exploited online social networks. It studies Koobface's zombie infrastructure and analyzes one month of its activity in Facebook and Twitter.

The authors succeeded in infiltrating the Koobface botnet to identify fraudulent and compromised user accounts that had been used to propagate malicious material to over 213,000 social network users.

Based on data gathered in spring 2010, they found that social network operators' strategy of using domain blacklisting services was highly ineffective. The defenses were found to recognize just 27% of threats and even then take an average of 4 days to respond.

MALWARE 2010 was the 5th IEEE International Conference on Malicious and Unwanted Software, held in Nancy, France, on October 19-20. The conference focused on techniques, economics, and legal issues surrounding the topic of malware, particularly methods to detect and control malware.

Editor's note: media inquiries should be directed to Brad Petersen, Director of Communications, at bradp@illinois.edu or (217) 244-6376.

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