Dr. Wei Lu and Dan Garant ’13 Win IEEE Recognition for Thwarting Botnets

Keene State College Assistant Professor of Computer Science Dr. Wei Lu and Dan Garant ’13 have been recognized by the IEEE Computer Society for their research on botnets, malicious applications that hackers use to take over networks through spam email or fake websites. Dr. Lu and Garant use a web application called Weasel to simulate botnet behaviors in order to learn how hackers infect networks. The research project is an international collaborative effort that began in Canada at the University of New Brunswick, the University of Victoria, and the Technological Crime Unit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It’s now being researched at Keene State College.

“Threats to internet security are at an all-time high, which makes this research critical to protecting individuals and businesses who rely on the internet as a trusted tool,” said Dr. Lu. “Our ultimate goal is to gather information that will help security software address these threats as effectively as possible. With the help of Dan Garant, we are taking an important first step toward reaching this goal.”

Dr. Lu completed his PhD at the University of Victoria in Canada where he originally began his research with this type of program. Immediately after graduation in engineering, he moved to Germany and worked for the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence. In 2007, he returned to Canada and joined the University of New Brunswick where he received his Professional Engineer certificate and Diploma in Undergraduate Teaching. He then worked for a start-up company that was bought by IBM and worked with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in efforts to stop hackers. In 2010, Dr. Lu started research at Keene State.

Dan Garant is currently earning his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Lu and Garant presented their research in 2013 at the 27th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Information Networking and Applications in Barcelona, Spain.