Posted by Virus Bulletin on Aug 30, 2013
We speak to Joe Blackbird and Bill Pfeifer about how anti-malware protection states affect infection rates.
The VB2013 conference takes place this autumn (2-4 October) in Berlin, with an exciting programme that covers many of today's most pertinent security-related topics.
In the build-up to the event we are running a series of blogs in which we introduce the speakers and find out a bit more about their research interests and what they aim to bring to the conference.
Today, we speak to Joe Blackbird and Bill Pfeifer who will speak at VB2013 on the global impact of anti-malware protection state on infection rates.
Tell us a little bit about yourself - your job and your responsibilities.
"We both work with the Microsoft Malware Protection Center on the Business Intelligence team. Our primary responsibilities involve big data analysis and using big data to find new ways to undermine the malware ecosystem. As data geeks with a passion for throwing a wrench in the profitability of malware, it's a great place to be."
Can you give us a brief outline of what you will be speaking about at VB2013?
"We will be presenting our findings on infection rates of computers with various anti-malware protection states. We will dive into details on the impact of running with various states, including out-of-date signatures, disabled anti-malware, and even running multiple anti-malware products. We'll also look at how anti-malware diversity plays a role in protection, as well as potential herd immunity."
Why is your presentation particularly relevant to the security community?
"A study of the anti-malware state and infection rates of computers of this size has never been done before now. Our research is based on information from about one billion computers. As such, the conclusions we have drawn have a global impact, applicable not only to anti-malware customers, but also anti-malware vendors."
What can delegates learn from your presentation?
"The most valuable thing that delegates can learn from our presentation is how much value anti-malware brings to customers and the entire ecosystem, and that ultimately the best option for anti-malware vendors is to keep their protection on and figure out other ways to monetize their products. Never put your products into an expired state and never leave your users unprotected!"
What other presentations are you looking forward to?
"The conference agenda looks great, and there are going to be some hard choices regarding which talks to see between the Corporate and Technical streams. That being said, the ZeroAccess talk by James Wyke, the IEEE Clean-File metadata exchange by Mark Kennedy and Igor Muttik, Alerting about public exploitation by Tom Cross and Holly Stewart, Stephen Cobb's big data discussion, and business-to-government malware by Sergey Golovanov and Denis Maslennikov look good to name just a few! "
Have you visited Berlin before? What are you looking forward to doing/seeing in the city this time?
"Neither of us has ever been to Berlin, but the Museumsinsel, the Pergamon Museum and other markets for artwork on are Bill's list. Joe is hoping to see the Spandau Citadel. But really there's so much to see in Berlin."
What else are you looking forward to at VB2013?
"We are both looking forward to catching up with folks that we know, but also meeting new people. Primarily though, we are really looking forward to getting new inspiration and new ideas to take the fight to malware."
Joe Blackbird and Bill Pfeifer will present 'The global impact of anti-malware protection state on infection rates' at 15:00 on Wednesday 2 October.
The full programme for VB2013, including abstracts for each paper, can be viewed here.
Read more about why you should attend VB2013 - and download our letter templates as a guide for justifying to your budget holder why you should attend VB2013.