April 11, 2005
A group of Carnegie Mellon University researchers are part of an eight institution team that will work on cybersecurity and trustworthy computing issues within a new National Science Foundation-funded (NSF) Science and Technology Center led by the University of California at Berkeley.
NSF announced its intention to establish and fund the center today with a $19 million award, which they intend to disburse over five years.
In addition to Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon, the collaboration includes Cornell University, Mills College, San Jose State University, Smith College, Stanford University and Vanderbilt University.
The initiative also brings together 15 industrial affiliates including Bellsouth, Cisco Systems, ESCHER (a research consortium that includes Boeing, General Motors and Raytheon), Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Qualcomm, Sun Microsystems and Symantec.
The NSF announcement comes on the heels of a report released last month by the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee that said "the infrastructure if the United States is highly vulnerable to disruptive domestic and international attacks," and recommended increased support for fundamental research in cybersecurity.
And security issues are just going to keep growing as much more information is placed on computer networks, including health records, bank data, credit-card transactions and commercial data, much of it highly confidential and valuable, according to Carnegie Mellon experts.
Mike Reiter, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and computer science, will lead the Carnegie Mellon team in developing new technologies that will help transform the ability of organizations -- from private vendors to large government agencies -- to design, build and operate trustworthy information systems that control critical infrastructure. Other team members include Jeannette Wing, professor and head of the computer science department in the School of Computer Science and professor of electrical and computer engineering, Adrian Perrig, an assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering, engineering and public policy, and computer science, and Dawn Song, an assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering and computer science.
The TRUST team will address a parallel and accelerating trend of the last decade -- integration of computing and communication across critical infrastructures in areas such as finance, energy, distribution, telecommunications and transportation. "The overlapping and interacting trends force us to recognize that trustworthiness of computer systems is not an IT (information technology) issue alone," center leaders said.
Carnegie Mellon will receive $480,000 for the first year and $670,000 after that for its part in the TRUST center, dedicated to protecting the nation's infrastructure from cyberattacks while improving reliability.
The new TRUST Center is one of two new Science and Technology Centers funded by the NSF in 2005 fiscal year. The other is the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets headquartered at the University of Kansas. NSF established the Science and Technology Center program in 1987, responding to a Presidential commitment to fund important fundamental research activities that also create educational opportunities. The program also was designed to encourage technology transfer and provide innovative approaches to interdisciplinary research challenges.
The NSF press release announcing this year's Science and Technology Centers is at http://www.nsf.gov/news/.