October is National Cyber Security Awareness month, and in light of that Facebook has just made a sizable donation to one of the country's best cybercrime research programs.
Facebook has donated $250,000 to The Center for Information Assurance and Joint Forensics Research, location at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. That's CIA|JFR at UAB, for short.
CIA|JFR is a "multidisciplinary research center with a broad focus on Information Assurance, and how our modern connected society impacts that information." They first focus on research and development, and then use those tools in outreach to law enforcement, governmental agencies, and companies (like Facebook). They say that they are working to "ensure a safer, more productive world for citizens of the 21st century."
According to Facebook, the donation was partly inspired by the program's work in helping to track the criminals behind social media botnet Koobface, among other spammers and cyber criminals. Apparently, the money is "recovered" money, coming from various spammers around the globe.
"As a result of numerous collaborations over the years, Facebook recognizes the center as both a partner in fighting Internet abuse, and as a critical player in developing future experts who will become dedicated cybersecurity professionals,” said Joe Sullivan, chief security officer at Facebook. “The center has earned this gift for their successes in fighting cybercrime and because of the need for formal cybersecurity education to better secure everyone’s data across the world.”
According to UAB, the money will be used to expand the CIA|JFR headquarters on the school's campus. They expect the "Facebook suite" to be ready to go by February of 2013, where it will be unveiled to the world at their second-annual Cyber Summit.
Last week, Facebook also announced a partnership with seven new partners in order to help beef up their Anti-Virus Marketplace.