UAB launches company to ID source and nature of cyber threats

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Gary Warner lab-fIn a private-public partnership, UAB has launched Malcovery, an intelligence company specializing in cyber threat detection, to help businesses protect themselves from cyber attacks. Malcovery uses patented forensic technology to identify the source and nature of immediate cyber attacks and analyze millions of cyber threat angles to combat future crises.

Gary Warner, a seven-time Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, will continue his role at UAB part-time while also serving as Malcovery chief technologist. He says his group fills a void in the cyber security marketplace.

“We provide real-time intelligence data that identifies cyber attacks worldwide as they emerge, whereas it takes hours or even days for most anti-virus software to detect cyber threats; by then it is too late,” said Warner, who will continue his role as director of UAB Research and Computer Forensics. “The majority of phishing, spam and malware solutions only address the symptoms. At Malcovery, we don’t do symptoms; we use intelligence analysis of the individual cyber attacks to identify the root causes.”

Malcovery grew from Warner’s work within the UAB Center for Information Assurance and Joint Forensics Research (CIA|JFR) which was made possible by funding from Facebook, Bank of America and eBay among others. Warner and his team of students have been recognized internationally for identifying seven foreign nationals subsequently arrested by the FBI for Internet fraud that infected more than 400 million computers. They also have been personally thanked by Facebook for their role in tracking international criminals behind social-media botnet Koobface, as well as other spammers. In continuing his role at UAB, Warner will have access to UAB technology and CIA|JFR research in his new endeavor.

“UAB thrives on innovation, and the launch of Malcovery is a great byproduct of both that atmosphere and the mechanisms now in place on our campus to facilitate such spin-offs,” said Richard B. Marchase, Ph.D., the university’s vice president of research and economic development. “Malcovery will continue to benefit from its relationship with UAB and, more specifically, with the CIA|JFR, which was created to do research that helps combat emerging and enduring threats to global, domestic and regional commerce and security.”

The Malcovery Cyber Intelligence & Forensics (MCIF) System Architecture is the base of Malcovery intelligence-gathering systems. The MCIF Threat Database is the core of the Malcovery’s big data analysis. It analyzes more than a million emails per day and houses more than 550 million spam email messages. This database allows Malcovery to identify related spam almost instantaneously.

Available products include Today’s Top Threats (T3), Abuse Box Processing, Phishing Intelligence Report, Phishing Investigative Services and PhishIQ. Malcovery is based at Innovation Depot in Birmingham, Ala., and in Pittsburgh, Pa.