Alabama University Launches Cyber Threat Detection Firm

May 15, 2013

In a private-public partnership, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has launched Malcovery, an intelligence company specializing in cyber threat detection, to help businesses protect themselves from cyberattacks.

Malcovery uses patented forensic technology to identify the source and nature of immediate cyberattacks and analyze millions of cyberthreat 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 said his group fills a void in the cyber security marketplace.

“We provide real-time intelligence data that identifies cyberattacks worldwide as they emerge, whereas it takes hours or even days for most anti-virus software to detect cyberthreats; 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.”

Warner said Malcovery grew from his 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 said he and 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 said they have also been 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.

Source: University of Alabama at Birmingham