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Facebook awards $200,000 to 2020 Internet Defense Prize winners at USENIX Security

This week, Facebook and USENIX awarded a total of $200,000 to the top three winners of the Internet Defense Prize at the 29th USENIX Security Symposium. Created in 2014, the award is funded by Facebook and offered in partnership with USENIX to celebrate contributions to the protection and defense of the internet.

This year we awarded a $100,000 first-place prize to Sathvik Prasad, Elijah Bouma-Sims, Athishay Kiran Mylappan, and Bradley Reaves at North Carolina State University for their work titled “Who’s Calling? Characterizing Robocalls through Audio and Metadata Analysis.” The paper discusses an 11-month “honeypot” study the team conducted to understand robocalls. The team’s findings surface potential technological and policy solutions to combat robocalling.

The second-place prize of $60,000 was awarded to Adam Oest (Arizona State University), Penghui Zhang (Arizona State University), Brad Wardman (PayPal, Inc.), Eric Nunes (PayPal, Inc.), Jakub Burgis (PayPal, Inc.), Ali Zand (Google), Kurt Thomas (Google), Adam Doupé (Arizona State University), and Gail-Joon Ahn (Samsung Research) for their paper, “Sunrise to Sunset: Analyzing the End-to-End Life Cycle and Effectiveness of Phishing Attacks at Scale.” This paper explores the impact of real-world phishing attacks on customers of a financial institution.

Our third-place prize of $40,000 went to Emily Tseng (Cornell University), Rosanna Bellini (Open Lab, Newcastle University), Nora McDonald (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Matan Danos (Weizmann Institute of Science), Rachel Greenstadt (New York University), Damon McCoy (New York University), Nicola Dell (Cornell Tech), and Thomas Ristenpart (Cornell Tech) for their research titled, “The Tools and Tactics Used in Intimate Partner Surveillance: An Analysis of Online Infidelity Forums.” This paper takes a deeper look into how victims of intimate partner violence are surveilled.

We’d like to congratulate the 2020 winners of the Internet Defense Prize and thank them for their contributions to help make the internet more secure. To learn more about the Internet Defense Prize and past winners, please visit the Internet Defense Prize website.

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