[Busec] busec this week: Geoff Voelker (Monday 11am) & Charles River Privacy Day (Friday)

Sharon Goldberg goldbe at cs.bu.edu
Fri Nov 8 12:26:19 EST 2013

Next week we have a very full set of exciting talks.

On Monday, Geoff Voelker from UCSD give a CS colloquium on measuring and
mitigating Internet spam.

On Wednesday, Adam Smith from UPenn will give an introductory talk on
differential privacy at the Hariri Institute at 3pm.

On Friday we have the Privacy Edition of our bi-yearly Charles River Crypto
Day, with speakers Jon Ullman, Aaron Roth, Katrina Ligett, and Yanniv

Abstracts below.  See you then!


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CS Colloquium: Exploring the Technical and Economic Factors Underlying
Internet Spam
Geoff Voelker, UCSD.
Mon, November 11, 11pm –11:59am
Hariri Institute, MCS180
111 Cummington St, Boston MA

 The large-scale compromise of Internet hosts and services form a
 platform for supporting a range of criminal activity in the so-called
 Internet underground economy.  In this talk I will start by quickly
 surveying work that our group has performed over the past decade on
 the problems posed by these threats, and how our research directions
 have evolved over time in response to them.  In the remainder of the
 talk, I will go into detail on recent work that our group has
 performed in an end-to-end analysis of the spam value chain.  Using
 extensive measurements over months of diverse spam data, broad
 crawling of naming and hosting infrastructures, and product purchases
 from a wide variety of spam-advertised sites, I'll characterize the
 modern spam ecosystem including system infrastructure, business
 models, cost accounting, and consumer demand.  I'll end by
 characterizing the relative prospects for anti-spam interventions at
 multiple levels, initial results of interventions in the payment tier,
 and where our group is headed going forward.

 This work is part of a long-standing collaborative effort between


 Geoffrey M. Voelker is a professor at the University of California at
 San Diego.  His research interests include operating systems,
 distributed systems, and computer networks.  He received a B.S. degree
 in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of
 California at Berkeley in 1992, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in
 Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington in
 1995 and 2000, respectively.


Talk on Differential Privacy for a General Audience
Adam Smith. UPenn.
Wed, November 13, 3pm – 4pm
Harriri. MCS180 111 Cummington St, Boston (map)

(Privacy Year Event)


November 15, Hariri Institute

The Charles River Privacy Day will take place on Friday November 15, in the
Hariri Institute at Boston University (111 Cummington Mall, MCS 180). There
will be four talks covering different aspects of the challenge of
protecting privacy of personal information in public databases.

The Charles River Privacy Day is co-organized by Ran Canetti, Sharon
Goldberg, Kobi Nissim, Sofya Rashkhodnikova, Leo Reyzin, and Adam Smith,
and is sponsored by the Center for Reliable Information Systems and Cyber
Security and by the Hariri Institute for Computing at Boston University.

Schedule (tentative)

9 – 9:30am Light breakfast
9:15am Welcome and Introductory Remarks
9:30am Privately Solving Allocation Problems: Aaron Roth (University of
10:45am Break
11:00am Fingerprinting Codes, Traitor-Tracing Schemes, and the Price of
Differential Privacy: Jonathan Ullman (Harvard University)
12:00pm Lunch (provided)
2:00pm Genome Hacking: Yaniv Erlich (MIT and Whitehead Institute)
3:15pm Break
3:30pm Privacy and coordination: Computing on databases with endogenous
participation: Katrina Ligett (California Institute of Technology)

Abstracts and more details at

Sharon Goldberg
Computer Science, Boston University
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