We’re proud to share news that Rodney Joffe, Senior Vice President and Fellow at Neustar, has been honored with the 2016 M3AAWG Mary Litynski Award for his lifetime achievements in protecting the Internet and its end-users.

Joffe was presented with the award during the M3AAWG 34th General Meeting in Dublin, Ireland last week. It acknowledges Rodney’s long career as an influential and highly accomplished cybersecurity advocate. In the 1990s, he fought to contain spam as the first email marketing campaigns were taking hold. More recently, he has combatted text spam, developed a sophisticated system to protect DNS, and has helped manage the worldwide response to major botnets infecting millions of users. 

“Rodney is the kind of person who embraces the Internet with all its possibilities and quietly works behind the scene to fight abuse,” said M3AAWG Board Chairman, Michael Adkins. “Today’s industry leaders know he’s the person to go to when you need to get something done, especially if it involves protecting the general online public who might not be in a position to take action. When he sees a problem, Rodney jumps in with whatever talent and resources are needed and his accomplishments over the last twenty years have made us all safer.”

Joffe’s most recent efforts have been on combatting botnets, networks of malicious code designed to steal personal information, hijack a user’s machine or engage in other harmful activities. As chairman of the Conficker Working Group in 2008, Joffe managed the efforts of thousands of technologists in 115 countries working to mitigate botnets. As an envoy for the group, he pressured the U.S. government to acknowledge and address the problem and testified at U.S. congressional cybersecurity hearings in 2009. Four years later, he received the U.S. FBI Director’s Award for helping organize the industry’s response to the Mariposa botnet, another major infection that affected users globally. He has also participated as a core threat designer in cybersecurity exercises operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the White House, and the U.S. National Security Council.

Emphasizing his appeal for more global cooperation against cyberattacks, Joffe said, “The criminals that we are fighting have the same or better skillsets as us but they don’t have the moral compass we do. So it’s not a level playing field and, right now, all we’re really able to do is contain the problem. Until we can get to the point where law enforcement around the globe, as a group, are prepared to go after the bad guys and put them in jail so there aren’t outposts where they can hide, we’re not going to be able to completely win this battle.”

Joffe outlined much of the industry’s history in fighting spam and online abuse in a video shown at the M3AAWG meeting:

The M3AAWG Mary Litynski Award is presented each year to recognize a person who has worked behind the scenes for many years to help protect online users. We’re honored to have Rodney as part of the Neustar team, and salute him for this lifetime achievement award.