Hunting Cyber Predators: A Fireside Chat with Bill Marczak

Thursday, October 21, 2021
5:30 pm to 6:30 pm PDT

Bill Marczak

Join us for a conversation with Bill Marczak as he shares his experience in identifying new threat actors — including Candiru, a secretive Israel-based company that sells spyware exclusively to governments — by investigating the path and behavior of the predator rather than the victim. Bill will share an overview of forensic methods deployed to track zero-point exploits and signs of mobile threats.

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Bill Marczak is a senior research fellow at Citizen Lab and a co-founder of Bahrain Watch. Bill’s work focuses on novel technological threats to Internet freedom, including new censorship and surveillance tools. Bill’s expertise is in Internet scanning and conducting digital investigations.

In 2016, Bill discovered the first-ever iPhone zero-day remote jailbreak seen in-the-wild (the Trident), sold exclusively to governments by Israeli cyber-warfare company NSO Group, and used to infect targets with spyware (Pegasus) through links in SMS text messages.

In 2015, Bill and his colleague Nick Weaver discovered the Great Cannon, an attack tool that hijacks users’ connections to Chinese websites and enlists their computers in DDoS attacks against websites. The Great Cannon was employed in massive DDoS attacks against pages on Amazon and GitHub providing access to political content banned in China.

Coverage of Bill’s work has been featured in Vanity Fair, the New York Times, the Washington Post, on CNN, and on Larry King. Bill is a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley, where he received his Ph.D. in computer science under the advisorship of Vern Paxson.

Bill Marczak
Bill Marczak (photo by Geoffrey W. King)


If you have questions about this event, please contact Mary McHale.

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Mary McHale
Mary McHale
MICS Career Advisor

Last updated:

October 14, 2021