Calendar - University of Houston
Skip to main content

[Seminar] Data Science for Cybersecurity: A Phishing Expedition from 18th Century Literature to Fake News

Friday, September 4, 2020

11:00 am - 12:00 pm


MS Teams Live Event URL (requires UH CougarNet login)

Humans are often the weakest links in the cybersecurity chain. All the firewalls and technologies are useless, if a single employee downloads a malware attachment that exploits a zero-day vulnerability, which allows privilege escalation for the attacker. The talk will discuss research the ReDAS (Reasoning and Data Analytics for Cybersecurity) laboratory has been conducting on some of these thorniest challenges in cybersecurity: phishing, business email compromise, job scams, social engineering attacks and fake news. Combatting these challenges requires us to leverage knowledge from several fields including networking, machine learning, natural language processing and psychology. I will also discuss the inadequacies of data science when it comes to cybersecurity and close with pointers for future research as well as for digging deeper.

About the Speaker
Rakesh Verma is currently a Professor of computer science with the University of Houston (UH), where he is leading a research group that applies reasoning and data science to cybersecurity challenges. He is the coauthor of Cybersecurity Analytics (CRC Press, 2019), which discusses key data analysis techniques and their adaptations for cybersecurity challenges. He has co-organized the 1st Anti-phishing Shared Task, in 2018 with proceedings in the CEUR workshop series; the training dataset is publicly available for academic research upon request. Since 2015, he has been co-organizing and editing the proceedings of the ACM International Workshop on Security and Privacy Analytics. He is an Editor of Frontiers of Big Data in the Cybersecurity Area, was an ACM Distinguished Speaker, from 2011 to 2018, and the winner of two Best Paper Awards. He received the 2013 Lifetime Mentoring Award for Undergraduate Research from UH. He is a Fulbright Senior Specialist in computer science, Panel Chair of ACM CODASPY 2020 and PC Co-chair of ACM CODASPY 2021.

CS Seminar September 4, 2020