NSF announces latest round of cyber research funding

NSF announces latest round of cyber research funding

The National Science Foundation is funding two research centers that will apply the techniques of life sciences to Internet security.

A team at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh will use the tools of ecology to better understand interactions within and between networks to identify malicious anomalies. A team at the University of California at San Diego will borrow from epidemiology to examine how worms propagate.

The two programs are among 33 new projects funded by NSF in its latest $30 million round of grants for the Cyber Trust Program. Other projects include methods for detecting tampering in digital photos, improving cyberforensics tools, evaluating biometric identification techniques, and defending against malicious code and denial-of-service attacks.

The Security Through Interaction Modeling Center at Carnegie Mellon will be headed by Mike Reiter. It will focus on understanding the networks of interactions among humans, computers and malicious code. This understanding could help in the early identification of and defense against attacks.

The five-year program is expected to receive $6.4 million.

The Center for Internet Epidemiology and Defenses will be led by Stefan Savage of UCSD and Vern Paxson of the International Computer Science Institute, affiliated with UC Berkley. It will study propagation of Internet worms with an eye toward early identification of outbreaks and development of techniques and devices to suppress them. The program is expected to receive $6.2 million over five years.

Results from both research centers will be available for incorporation into education programs from kindergarten through postgraduate levels.

The Cyber Trust is a program of NSF's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering. It promotes research into dependable and secure computer and network systems.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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