[ISN] New University of Illinois Center Focuses on Information Security

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Mar 04 2002 - 01:50:09 PST

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    Forwarded from: William Knowles <wkat_private>
    February 27, 2002 10:00
    By Jeff Meredith 
    CHICAGO - Information security has gained a newfound urgency the last 
    few months and the University of Illinois is maneuvering itself to 
    become a key supplier of such products. This week, the College of 
    Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and 
    Argus Systems Group, Inc., a Savoy, Il.-based vendor of Internet 
    security products, jointly launched the Center for Advanced Research 
    in Information Security (CARIS). 
    CARIS will be located in the Department of Computer Science, 
    designated by the U.S. National Security Agency as a Center of 
    Academic Excellence, and will focus on next generation security 
    technologies. Smart Card systems, through which companies provide 
    digital credentials or access capabilities based off of user 
    identification, are among the products CARIS hopes to deploy. 
    "There are a variety of different ways to do authentification and 
    carry credentials around. We were looking at ways that they could be 
    used together with some of the Argus technology - where you're using a 
    combination of a Smart Card, trusted servers," said Roy Campbell, a 
    computer science professor and director of CARIS. "How do you get 
    these things to integrate, how do you manage it?"
    CARIS looks to build trusted systems. Some of the center's findings 
    could also be relevant to virus and worm outbreaks. Campbell said that 
    instead of taking the approach of a McAfee anti-viral software system 
    that features attachment pre-screening, CARIS is looking to halt the 
    progress of viruses as they are working. "Our approach is more to 
    detect abnormal behavior in programs as they're actually executed," 
    said Campbell. "If you receive a strange package, you can detect it 
    and stop it before it corrupts your system. It would work well with 
    McAfee's style of approach, but it's sort of complementary."
    The opening of CARIS is not accompanied by any new funding, but 
    Campbell said that there's existing funding to do security research 
    and the center will be bootstrapping its way to future projects. By 
    pairing with the private sector, he expects university research to 
    more speedily yield products for the marketplace. 
    "CARIS is a locus for people to get together and discuss how to 
    approach security. The government's producing a lot of different 
    programs in security and usually the funding they're offering is in 
    specific areas and it's usually attached to trying to develop some 
    research to the point where it's actually transferred into industry,' 
    said Campbell. "By having a center, we can affect that. We can do both 
    parts of the equation - come up with research and develop it to the 
    point where it's useful for industry. To turn that research into a 
    product that's put into the marketplace. It's a way of shortcutting 
    what would normally occur."
    "Communications without intelligence is noise;  Intelligence
    without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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