UPS Gives to UAB Computer Forensic Research Laboratory

By Lisa C. Bailey

momentumStudents Olivia Foust (left) and Sarah Turner are tracking spam attacks in real time to help document emerging threats and find new ways to stop them. UAB recently received a $25,000 gift from The UPS Foundation, the charitable arm of UPS. The gift will be used to support the UAB Computer Forensic Research Laboratory in educating the public and assisting law enforcement by identifying and documenting emerging malware threats. (Malware, short for malicious software, describes computer software designed to gain access to or exploit one’s computer files without permission.)

Students will seek to enhance the malware research community by contributing new techniques, as well as documenting and characterizing trends in malware proliferation, under the leadership of Gary Warner, director of research in computer forensics. The two students receiving the funds are Olivia Foust and Sarah Turner. (Hear from Turner on the Emerging Threats by Email project, funded by the UPS gift, in this feature story.)

“The new M.S. in Computer Forensics and Security Management is a great opportunity for the two student recipients to advance their careers,” says Tony Skjellum, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. With the UPS support, these students will be able to study state-of-the-art malware methodologies, while advancing their career studies at UAB.

In 2010, The UPS Foundation distributed more than $44.6 million worldwide through grants that benefit organizations or programs such as the UAB Computer Forensic Research Laboratory and provide support for building stronger communities.

“The UPS Foundation is committed to funding programs that make a meaningful difference in our communities, so we are proud to support UAB’s efforts to create new solutions for investigators to protect the public through identification of associated criminals,” says Ken Sternard, president of The UPS Foundation.