In the past ten years, the Internet has evolved tremendously in terms of both the type of services and applications being deployed and the kind of malicious activity being carried out. Web applications have become tremendously popular, and, nowadays, they are routinely used in security-critical environments, such as medical, financial, and military systems. As the use of web applications for critical services has increased, the number and sophistication of attacks against these applications have grown as well. In addition, the hosts that are compromised often become part of large-scale botnets and are used to spread malware (e.g., through drive-by downloads) or to host scam and phishing sites.
The Computer Security faculty in the Department of Computer Science at UCSB focus their research on addressing the real-world, high-impact security problems of today's and tomorrow's Internet. By combining different techniques from machine learning to formal verification, from program analysis to hardware simulation, these novel approaches can identify and counteract security threats, and contribute to making the Internet a safer place.