Verisign Labs

Talented, Collaborative and Dedicated

The Verisign Labs team brings a tremendous breadth of expertise and talent.

Andrew West

Andrew West

Research Scientist


Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania, 2013
Master of Science in Engineering in Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania, 2010
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Washington & Lee University, 2007

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Andrew G. West is a Research Scientist on the Verisign Labs team.

He obtained his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013, writing his dissertation on the topic of security for "open collaboration" applications. His work examined how user-generated content and collaborative semantics are changing how spam and other abuses manifest and can be detected. In addition to yielding over two dozen academic writings his graduate work produced tools still in popular use by communities of practice. Most notably, his anti-damage software STiki has been used to remove nearly 400,000 damaging revisions from English Wikipedia. Popular media outlets such as the Chronicle of Higher Education and Gizmodo have also recognized his contributions.

Transitioning to Verisign, Dr. West plans to leverage the company's wealth of Internet-scale routing and security data using his experience with trust/reputation management, applied machine learning, and metadata analysis methodologies. He is broadly interested in Web 2.0 and network security with more narrow specializations in email/web spam, underground economies, behavioral profiling, Internet virality, and research ethics.

In addition to independent research efforts Dr. West is interested in pursuing mutually-beneficial cooperation through Verisign's University collaboration and intern programs. Having advised over 100 student research endeavours at UPenn he has considerable experience in planning towards successful project outcomes. Finally, he remains in active service to the academic/professional community as a reviewer for multiple conferences and journals.


Selected publications
Below are selected publications. Dr. West's full publication listing can be found on his C.V.:

AS-CRED: Reputation and Alert Service for Inter-domain Routing. J. Chang, K. Venkatasburamanian, A.G. West, S. Kannan, I. Lee, B.T. Loo, and O. Sokolsky. To appear in IEEE Systems, special issue on Security and Privacy of Complex Systems, 2013.

Analyzing and Defending Against Web-based Malware. J. Chang, K. Venkatasburamanian, A.G. West, and I. Lee. To appear in a forthcoming issue of ACM Computing Surveys, 2013.

Damage Detection and Mitigation in Open Collaboration Applications. A.G. West. PhD thesis, University of Pennsylvania, May 2013.

Spamming for Science: Active Measurement in Web 2.0 Abuse Research. A.G. West, P. Hayati, V. Potdar, and I. Lee. In WECSR '12: Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Ethics in Computer Security Research, LNCS 7398, March 2012.

What Wikipedia Deletes: Characterizing Dangerous Collaborative Content. A.G. West and I. Lee. In WikiSym '11: Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration, October 2011.

Link Spamming Wikipedia for Profit. A.G. West, J. Chang, K. Venkatasburamanian, O. Sokolsky, and I. Lee. In CEAS '11: Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Collaboration, Electronic Messaging, Anti-Abuse, and Spam Conference, September 2011. (Best Paper Award).

Wikipedia Vandalism Detection: Combining Natural Language, Metadata, and Reputation Features. B.T. Adler, L. de Alfaro, S.M. Mola-Velasco, P. Rosso, and A.G. West. In CICLing '11: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Intelligent Text Processing and Computational Linguistics, LNCS 6609, February 2011.

Spam Mitigation using Spatio-Temporal Reputations from Blacklist History. A.G. West, A.J. Aviv, J. Chang, and I. Lee. In ACSAC '10: Proceedings of the 26th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference, December 2010.

An Evaluation Framework for Reputation Management Systems. A.G. West, I. Lee, S. Kannan, and O. Sokolsky. Book chapter in Trust Modeling and Management in Digital Environments: From Social Concept to System Development (Zheng Yan, ed.), 2010.

Detecting Wikipedia Vandalism via Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Revision Metadata. A.G. West, S. Kannan, and I. Lee. In EUROSEC '10: Proceedings of the Third European Workshop on System Security, April 2010.

QuanTM: A Quantitative Trust Management System. A.G. West, A.J. Aviv, J. Chang, V.S. Prabhu, M. Blaze, S. Kannan, I. Lee, J.M. Smith, and O. Sokolsky. In EUROSEC '09: Proceedings of the Second European Workshop on System Security, March 2009.