Posted by Virus Bulletin on Sep 6, 2013
We speak to VB2013 presenter Andrei Serbanoiu about Facebook ad spam and scams, and what he aims to bring to VB2013.
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.
Today, we speak to Andrei Serbanoiu, who will speak at VB2013 about Facebook ad spam and scams.
Tell us a little bit about yourself - your job and your responsibilities.
"I'm a software developer at Bitdefender, where I work at crafting and updating several projects: TrafficLight, a series of add-ons that provide a security layer to users' browsing experience, Safego, a free Facebook application which protects accounts from all sorts of e-threats, Parental Control, and internal tools. I also enjoy doing research on various security topics such as malicious browser add-ons, social media scams and parental control technologies."
Can you give us a brief outline of what you will be speaking about at VB2013?
"I will be talking about how spam is migrating to advertising platforms, with a case study on Facebook. The research idea came after I noticed many ads have features similar to unsolicited emails. That made me wonder what the borderlines between publicity and spam are these days. And so I developed a method to spot the traits and categories common for spam and ads."
Why is your presentation particularly relevant to the security community?
"My presentation draws attention to the innovative ways in which scammers try to avoid detection. As security specialists, we have to research these methods proactively and figure out these trends in advance. This helps us block new waves of spam and other dangerous e-threats, as spam is one of the most facile routes for malware, fraud and phishing attacks. The migration of spam towards advertisement platforms not only affects our jobs as security application developers, but it also affects users' everyday life."
What can delegates learn from your presentation?
"The delegates may learn new things about social media advertisements and spam propagation. We will also be approaching Facebook's policy features and talking about the way they are implemented. In the end, the delegates will have the opportunity to become scam detectives!"
What other presentations are you looking forward to?
"I'm especially looking forward to Methusela Ferrer's Infection vector: cyberspace junk, waste, and zombies and Brandon Niemczyk & Jonathan Andersson's Using statistical analysis of DNS traffic to identify infections of unknown malware."
How many VB conferences have you been to?
"This will be my second VB conference. In 2012, I presented a paper entitled Browser add-ons: what do they really add on?."
Have you visited Berlin before? What are you looking forward to seeing/doing whilst in town?
"I haven't been to Berlin before, but I am very interested in visiting the various World War 2 memorials as well as the Sony Center. And, of course, I will enjoy visiting well known landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate and the famous cathedrals and 'platz'."
What else are you looking forward to at VB2013?
"I'm looking forward to making new contacts in the security and software development industry, to learning new things from more experienced researchers, and also to developing my own perspectives in terms of research. I will also enjoy sightseeing and discovering urban and tech places in Berlin."
Andrei Serbanoiu will present 'Digging into Facebook ads: finding clues that indicate a scam pattern' at 15:50 on Thursday 3 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.