Department Faculty “In the Media” Fall Semester
Dr. Heith Copes was interviewed by Creditcards.com concerning tales of identity thieves' “quirky” charges. http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-crooks-quirky-charges-1282.php
Dr. Elizabeth Gardner was interviewed by The Pink Sheet, an industry trade publication providing in-depth analysis of biopharma regulatory, legislative, legal and business developments, on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) efforts to shut down fraudulent pharmacy websites and a recent grant she received from the FDA involving a study (with Justice Sciences’ colleague Gary Warner) of these pharmacies and the drugs they dispense. She was also featured in the Fall/Winter UAB Magazine for her work (with Dr. Asim Bej, UAB Department of Biology) on “fingerprinting” tar balls washing up on beaches along the Gulf Coast (http://www.uab.edu/uabmagazine/fall2011/features/tar).
Dr. John Sloan had his new book (with Bonnie S. Fisher) The Dark Side of the Ivory Tower: Campus Crime as a Social Problem (Cambridge University Press) reviewed in Criminal Justice Policy Review. He was also interviewed by The Birmingham News for a story on campus crime statistics for colleges and universities in Alabama (http://blog.al.com/breaking/ 2011/11/xxx.html) and interviewed for a story the paper was doing on whether parents and prospective college students are aware of campus crime statistics and security reports that postsecondary schools must make publicly available under the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. (http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/11/alabama_colleges_crime_is_a_pr.html)
Gary Warner was interviewed by The Birmingham News about his involvement in a State of Alabama initiative to help educate parents and students on the problem of cyberbullying. (http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/12/alabama_education_officials_of.html). He was also interviewed by the online publication “42: Answers to Your Technology Questions” about how the increased pace of cyber attacks on government, military, and commercial targets such as financial institutions has raised the level of awareness and need for information technology security specialists. (http) ://www.al.com/42/index.ssf/2011/08/battle_updates_ smd_ conference. html
Published and Forthcoming Books from Faculty MembersDepartment faculty members Dr. Heith Copes, Dr. Kay Morgan, and Dr. John Sloan have books that either have been published or are forthcoming. These include:
Copes, Heith, and Lynne Vieraitis (2012). Identity Thieves: Motives and Methods. Northeastern University Press.
Copes, Heith and Mark Pogrebin (Eds.) (2012). Voices from Criminal Justice: Thinking and Reflecting on the System. Routledge.
Copes, Heith (Ed.) (2012). Advancing Qualitative Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Routledge.
Morgan, Kathryn (2012). Beyond Theory: Probation & Parole in Practice. Pearson/Thompson Learning.
Sloan, John J. and Bonnie S. Fisher (2011). The Dark Side of the Ivory Tower: Campus Crime as a Social Problem. Cambridge University Press.
Fisher, Bonnie S. and John J. Sloan (Eds.) (2012). Campus Crime: Legal, Social, and Policy Perspectives (3ed.). Charles C. Thomas.
Department's Computer Forensics Lab Assists FBI in Malware Case
University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers helped the Federal Bureau of Investigation and NASA Office of Inspector General identify seven foreign nationals arrested for a massive, sophisticated Internet fraud that infected more than 400 million computers in 100-plus countries and scammed $14 million.
The defendants in the FBI Operation Ghost Click were tracked down with assistance from the UAB Spam Data Mine, which archives and analyzes spam campaigns gathering more than 1 million emails per day. The database, which holds about 550 million spam email messages, is the reason law enforcement asked UAB for assistance.
"The information we received from UAB’s software was invaluable to our efforts in the apprehension of these international suspects,” said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Thomas Grasso Jr.
At least 500,000 computers infected in the United States belonged to government agencies — including NASA, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, businesses and individuals. (UAB’s computers were not infected.) The malware secretly enabled the defendants to hijack Internet searches and reroute computers to certain websites and advertisements and prevented infected computers from installing anti-virus software.
“The UAB Spam Data Mine allowed us to tell the FBI when new email-based threats contained versions of particular computer viruses that were related to the malware family associated with this case,” says Gary Warner, director of Research in Computer Forensics in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences. “Our team can help law enforcement quickly track down and successfully prosecute cybercriminals anywhere in the world because we can identify related spam almost instantaneously.”
Warner, five times selected as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and author of the Cyber Crime & Doing Time blog, is a member of UAB’s Center for Information Assurance and Joint Forensics Research. The center, known for interdisciplinary research and development, offers law-enforcement solutions in many areas, including spam data-mining, phishing, computer security, computer intrusion and identity theft.
“We created the center to respond to rapidly emerging and enduring threats to global, domestic and regional commerce and safety,” says its founding director Anthony Skjellum, Ph.D., chair of UAB Computer and Information Sciences. “Our team has taken the lead in helping law enforcement eradicate cybercrime by making it near impossible for online criminals to hide.”