Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

In Testimony, CISE AD Describes Research Contributions

June 6th, 2011 / in pipeline, policy, research horizons / by Erwin Gianchandani

Farnam Jahanian, Assistant Director for NSF/CISEFarnam Jahanian, the Assistant Director for CISE, testified at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing on May 25th. The hearing, convened jointly by the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation and the Subcommittee on Research and Science Education, examined Federal agency efforts to improve our nation’s cybersecurity and prepare the future cybersecurity talent needed for preserving national security.

As part of his testimony, Jahanian listed a series of contributions the computing research community has made with support from NSF and other Federal funding agencies:

  • Cryptographic schemes and cryptographic-based authentication, enabling today’s Internet commerce, supporting secure digital signatures and online credit card transactions
  • Program analyses and verification techniques, enabling the early detection of software vulnerabilities and flaws, which can prevent cyber attacks, such as phishing, worms and botnets
  • New approaches to prevent and mitigate distributed denial of service attacks have helped secure Internet’s underlying infrastructure
  • Approaches to identify exploitable flaws in cyber-enabled systems, including automotive control software and medical device software, that have alerted industry to the need for secure software and system development practices
  • Technology to detect and defeat “drive-by downloads” from malicious websites makes web browsing safer for the public
  • Innovative machine learning and data mining approaches used in spam filtering, and methodsfor detecting attacks, such as those involving credit card fraud
  • CAPTCHAs, the distorted text that only humans—not machines or bots—can decipher, to ensure that it is indeed a human, and not a bot, who is buying a ticket on-line or setting up an email account
  • Open source tools that enable rapid analysis of malware allow for quick detection and mitigation and new methods to study botnets reveal the structure of the underground economy, allowing investigators to make attribution and prevent future attacks from the same sources
  • Better understanding of how humans respond to software security warnings gives designers new models for designing usable and secure systems
  • The underpinnings for fully homomorphic encryption, which means that we may eventually be able to perform encrypted computations on untrusted platforms (such as on a distributed “cloud” platform), just as today we can send encrypted communications over untrusted networks.

Check out Jahanian’s complete testimony, which details NSF’s cybersecurity research and education activities past, present, and future, and describes the need “to continue … investments in long-term, game-changing research if our cyber systems are to be trustworthy.”

And you can also watch an archived webcast of the hearing, including the Q&A that followed, here.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

In Testimony, CISE AD Describes Research Contributions

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