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.

NSF WATCH TALK- Securing the Network Time Protocol

March 8th, 2017 / in Announcements, NSF, Research News / by Helen Wright

The next WATCH talk, called Securing the Network Time Protocol is Thursday, March 16th, from 11 AM-12 PM EST.

The presenter is Sharon Goldberg, an associate professor in the Computer Science Department at Boston University. Her research uses tools from theory (cryptography, game-theory, algorithms), and networking (measurement, modeling, and simulation) to solve practical problems in network security. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2009, her B.A.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 2003, has worked as a researcher at IBM, Cisco, and Microsoft, as an engineer at Bell Canada and Hydro One Networks, and has served on working groups of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). In 2014 she received two IETF/IRTF Applied Networking Research Prizes, an NSF CAREER Award, and a Sloan Research Fellowship.


Time is a fundamental building block for computing applications, and time synchronization is crucial for the security of many cryptographic protocols and the correctness of many distributed systems. Time on computer clocks is commonly set using the Network Time Protocol (NTP). This talk considers the security of the NTP specification and its reference implementation ntpd. We consider various threats to NTP that allow an attacker to either (a) alter time on computer systems that set their clocks using NTP (timeshifting attacks), or (b) prevent those systems from synchronizing their clocks (denial of service attacks). We also discuss protocols that can secure NTP against these classes of attacks.

The talk will be held in Room 110 at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, VA. No RSVP is necessary, and no visitor badges are required. It will also be webcast; you can register here

NSF WATCH TALK- Securing the Network Time Protocol