Funding, Grants & Awards

UC Santa Barbara Prof Lands Malware Award from Google

Google Research has granted one of its many annual research awards to a professor at the University of California Santa Barbara immersed in the study of computer security. Giovanni Vigna, a professor in the computer science department, won a $100,000 grant for his work on innovative malware detection techniques.

The company issued the award as part of its research efforts into "security, privacy and anti-abuse," a broad category focused on the security of computer systems and the protection of information "against unauthorized access and abusive usage." The funds come with no specific stipulations.

Vigna has long been involved in the business of malware detection. He co-directs the Security Lab. He's also part of the International Secure Systems Lab (iSecLab) and a member of the Shellphish and Epic Fail hacker groups. On top of that Vigna organizes an annual capture-the-flag competition that draws competitors from around the work.

Finally, Vigna acts as the chief technical officer for Lastline, a malware company he co-founded with research colleagues from iSecLab. That company, he noted in a press release, brings the "novel ideas" of academia to the tech industry, which tends to emphasize shipping products that are "good enough." "There is a different bar that is set in academics that lends itself particularly well in the cybersecurity industry," he said.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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