Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Carnegie Mellon creates center to combat cyberterrorism

Universities across the country share differing levels of computer security and are looking nationwide for ways to protect their systems, as well as their students, from potential cyberterrorism dangers.

Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Computer and Communications Security is creating a security network through a new multidisciplinary center with a five-year, $35.5 million grant from the Department of Defense.

With these newly awarded grants, Carnegie Mellon is aiming to better its programs dealing with Internet security, data storage and privacy issues as a whole. The center is also looking to further develop its “self-securing systems.”

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These systems include hard-disk drives and network cards that ultimately work to defend themselves and other components from intruders. Wireless broadcasting and remote-sensor networks will also be researched within the new center in hopes of improving the security for these areas.

“The crucial role that information technology plays in warfare and homeland security inspired Carnegie Mellon to create the new center,” said Pradeep Khosla, head of Carnegie Mellon’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and C3S.

In time, signatures, fingerprints, iris patterns, face-recognition technology and voice scans may be used to identify the person using a computer. Researchers are currently studying these technologies.

Along with research, a graduate-degree program is also being coordinated by the new center, which will result in a master of science in information-security technology and management. The Information Networking Institute will aid in the management of this degree.

This new program will begin in the fall of 2003 and will take 16 months to complete.

After completion, many graduates will look to find careers in telecommunications as well as the wireless and mobile computing sectors.

As a whole, Carnegie Mellon was identified as a “center of excellence in cybersecurity” in June of 2002.

Universities nationwide search for ways to better improve their computer security daily. The University of Wisconsin has many different departments that research particular facets of computer-security issues.

“Computer security ranges from extremely good to extremely poor [at UW],” associate director of the computer-science lab David Parter said. “The staff at UW is well educated, carries the best practices and knows of issues before anyone knows.”

The two main problems the computer-science department combats are denial of service attacks and break-ins. Service attacks prevent someone from using a computer in its intended way and break-ins result in theft of data as well as altering of data.

Assistant professor Paul Barford researches in the Internet-security department at UW and said “Internet security [at UW] is comparable to or better than other major universities.”

With very few strict policies on Internet usage, much responsibility is left up to the user to make the proper decisions to protect his or her computer as well as the rest of the system.

According to Barford, new dangers arise daily. However, there are a few easy ways to protect your system. These are to keep careful password protection, make sure to backup all important files and to pay attention to things that go wrong as well as to fix what goes wrong.

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