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.

Rethinking Computers and Security

November 2nd, 2012 / in Research News / by Shar Steed

Peter G. Neumann [credit New York Times]The New York Times article, “Killing the Computer to Save It,” takes a closer look at how Dr. Peter G. Neumann, a computer scientist who specializes in computer security, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are rethinking how to make computers and networks more secure. Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta voiced concerns about “an epidemic of computer malware and rising concerns about cyberwarfare as a threat to global security.” Neumann, who is now 80 years old, and Robert N. Watson, a computer security researcher at Cambridge University’s Computer Laboratory, are currently leading a research program funded by DARPA to address these concerns.

“The program includes two separate but related efforts: Crash, for Clean-Slate Design of Resilient Adaptive Secure Hosts; and MRC, for Mission-Oriented Resilient Clouds. The idea is to reconsider computing entirely, from the silicon wafers on which circuits are etched to the application programs run by users, as well as services that are placing more private and personal data in remote data centers.


Clean Slate is financing research to explore how to design computer systems that are less vulnerable to computer intruders and recover more readily once security is breached.


Dr. Shrobe argues that because the industry is now in a fundamental transition from desktop to mobile systems, it is a good time to completely rethink computing. But among the biggest challenges is the monoculture of the computer “ecosystem” of desktop, servers and networks, he said.


“Nature abhors monocultures, and that’s exactly what we have in the computer world today,” said Dr. Shrobe. “Eighty percent are running the same operating system.”


Click here to read the full article.

(Contributed by Shar Steed, CRA Communications Specialist)

Rethinking Computers and Security