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“Xconomist of the Week: Stefan Savage on Computer Security”

Xconomy interviews UW CSE Ph.D. alum Stefan Savage, Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at UC San Diego, as “Xconomist of the Week”:

“Last year, a team led by Savage and UW’s Tadayoshi Kohno showed that a hacker with physical access to an automotive electronic control unit could alter software to stop the engine, disable the brakes, and carry out other nefarious tasks. In follow-up research published earlier this year, Savage and company said they had succeeded in performing similar tasks remotely—using the cellular phone in a car to insert malicious software that enabled them to override various vehicle controls. (Their findings can be found at the website of the Center for Automotive Embedded Systems Security, a UW-UCSD collaboration.)

“Savage also has helped lead wide-ranging studies of Internet spam, outlining the global ‘ecosystem’ that supports compromised accounts, spam mailers, credit cards, e-mail lists, and other tools of the trade. This work led to a comprehensive study of just how much revenue spam advertising can generate, even when most of the spam is blocked.”

Read the rest of the interview here.