Berkeley Researcher Wins ACM SIGCOMM Award for Internet Advances

Berkeley Researcher Wins ACM SIGCOMM Award for Internet Advances

Paxson Honored for Security Contributions to Computer Networking

Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession



Virginia Gold       Ramesh Govindan
212-626-0505       213-740-4509

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TORONTO, AUGUST 11, 2011 -  Vern Paxson, a senior researcher at the University of California, Berkeley’s International Computer Science Institute, has been awarded the highest honor from ACM SIGCOMM, ACM's Special Interest Group on Data Communications, for his lifetime contributions to Internet measurement and security.  Paxson transformed the practice of Internet measurement, and made seminal advances that have expanded the world’s understanding of the Internet and its robustness. They include Internet intrusion detection, worm analysis and the analysis of the underground cyberattack economy, He will receive the award and deliver the keynote address at the ACM SIGCOMM conference on August 16 in Toronto, Canada. 

In a career spanning two and a half decades, Paxson has inspired a generation of researchers with seminal contributions. His early work on Internet measurement revealed extensive information about the deployed Internet, its traffic characteristics and routing behavior. His innovations made radical methodological advances in data collection and analysis, revitalized the practice of Internet measurement, and established it as a genuine subdiscipline in the field of computer networking. As a result, researchers now have a much deeper understanding of the nature of the Internet and of its evolution. 

Paxson’s research on the Bro intrusion detection system pioneered many methods that are now part of the global security infrastructure. He devised inventive methods for analyzing the behavior of Internet worms, most notably the Witty worm of 2004. His most recent contribution has focused on the underground economy, in which spammers and other attackers operate. This work exposes the marketplace where stolen credit information and compromised servers are bought and sold, and suggests ways in which this economy can be stifled in order to prevent cyberattacks.     

A co-recipient of the USENIX lifetime achievement award in 1993 and 1996, Paxson was honored for his contributions to Internet measurement with the ACM SIGCOMM’s Test-of-time award in 2006. He received the 2007 ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award  for his work in measuring and characterizing the Internet.   Paxson has received numerous best paper awards including, twice, the prestigious William R. Bennett Prize from the IEEE Communications Society. He is a Fellow of the ACM

Paxson earned a B.S. degree in Mathematics from Stanford University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the UC Berkeley, where is a professor in the Computer Science Department. Previously, he worked at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.



The ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication provides a forum for computing professionals in the vital field of data communication. It focuses on network architecture, network protocols, distributed systems and publications. SIGCOMM co-sponsors the ACM/IEEE Transactions on Networking, a quarterly journal, with the IEEE. SIGCOMM also co-sponsors world-class conferences and publishes the quarterly newsletter Computer Communication Review (CCR), which includes SIGCOMM's annual conference proceedings. 


About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.