Skip to main content



Find us on

facebook youtube flickr twitter itunes u logo

Upcoming Events

 ISTS logo

Securing the e-Campus 2017 - Exact time and dates TBD

Recent Talks

Dan Wallach

STAR-Vote: A Secure, Transparent, Auditable and Reliable Voting System

Professor Dan Wallach
Rice University
Thursday April 27, 2017
Carson L01, 5:00 PM

Ben Miller Dragos

Pandora's Power Grid - What Can State Attacks Do and What Would be the Impact?

Ben Miller
Chief Threat Officer, Dragos, Inc.
Tuesday May 2, 2017
Kemeny 007, 4:30 PM
Brendan Nyhan




Factual Echo Chambers? Fact-checking and Fake News in Election 2016.

Professor Brendan Nyhan
Dartmouth College
Thursday May 4, 2017
Rocky 001, 5:00 PM

Dickie George


Espionage and Intelligence

Professor Dickie George
Johns Hopkins University
Thursday May 11, 2017
Rocky 001, 5:00 PM

Dan Wallach

A Nation Under Attack: Advanced Cyber-Attacks in Ukraine

Ukrainian Cybersecurity Researchers
Thursday April 6, 2017
Oopik Auditorium 5:30 PM

RIOTS logo 

Professor Sean Smith, Director of the ISTS and Bill Nisen, Associate Director, spoke at the

School House residential cluster on the Internet of Risky Things  - February 21, 2017, 5:30 PM

Craig Smith




You Don't Own Your Car
Craig Smith
Tuesday May 10, 2016 
Carson L02 @4:15

David Safford


Hardware Based Security for GE's Industrial Control Systems
David Safford
GE Global Research
Tuesday May 17, 2016
Carson L02 @4:15



"It's Fine," They Said. "Just Ship It," They Said.
Dan Tentler
The Phobos Group
Tuesday April 12, 2016 
Carson L02 @4:15

Harold Thimbleby




The Best Way to Improve Healthcare is to Improve Computers
Harold Thimbleby
Swansea University
April 23, 2015

Craig Shue




Managing User-Level Compromises in Enterprise Network
Craig Shue
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
March 31, 2015



Oct news 2015


ISTS Information Pamphlet



Institute for Security, Technology, and Society
Dartmouth College
6211 Sudikoff Laboratory
Hanover, NH 03755 USA
HomeEvents >

Understanding the Growth of the Underground Economy

Dr. Stefan Savage, University of California, San Diego
February 12, 2008


New threats are inevitably driven by changes in opportunity. Nowhere is this more true than on the Internet, where the combination of widespread software homogeneity and unrestricted high-speed connectivity have created "perfect storm" conditions for large-scale outbreaks of network-borne infections. Indeed, over the last decade, the ability to easily compromise large numbers of Internet hosts has emerged as the backbone of a vibrant criminal economy encompassing unsolicited bulk-email (SPAM), denial-of-service extortion, piracy, phishing and identity theft. Using tools such as worms, viruses, and web-based exploits, the technical cadre of this community can leverage a small investment in software into a large-scale virtual commodity - hundreds of thousands of remotely controlled "bot" hosts - that are then used, resold and leased to others. This capability effectively provides a platform upon which higher-level criminal applications are deployed (such as SPAM forwarding, DDoS, piracy, etc.) In this talk I will describe the growth of this ecosystem, its underlying technical drivers and provide preliminary data quantifying the emergence of a vibrant third-party market economy in support of on-line crime.


Stefan Savage is an associate professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington and a B.S. in Applied History from Carnegie-Mellon University. Savage's research interests lie at the intersection of operating systems, networking and computer security and he currently serves as director of the Cooperative Center for Internet Epidemiology and Defenses (CCIED), a joint effort between UCSD and the International Computer Science Institute.

Last Updated: 4/21/10