UCSB Looking at the ‘Big Picture’ of Internet Security

February 3, 2010

Santa Barbara, California, February 2, 2010—A team of UCSB computer
scientists is leading a consortium funded by the US Army Research Office as
a part of its Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI)
Program to investigate ways of monitoring cyber attacks on networks like the
Internet. The cyber security multi-campus collaborative effort is led by
UCSB and also includes UC-Berkeley and Georgia Tech. The total effort will
be funded at approximately $6.2 million.

The goal of the proposed research is to develop a comprehensive system that
can automatically identify attacks on the Internet, assess the damage of
attacks, identify possible responses, and predict possible future threats. A
key component of the system will be to present the wide range of information
collected by the system and generated in response to attacks in a meaningful
way through sophisticated data visualization.

At the core of the system will be research to provide specific theories,
techniques, and tools to support a more effective defense against
cyber-attacks, especially state-sponsored attacks. The research team plans
to advance the state-of-the-art in cyber security in five key areas:

1) Theoretically sound yet practical techniques to automatically
analyze network activity to obtain an up-to-date view of how the network is
being used.

2) Comprehensive analysis techniques to automatically extract
relationships in the network.

3) A situation awareness framework to identify the targets of
cyber attacks and estimate the impact of a successful attack.

4) Models of adversary behavior to help predict the effects of
future attacks.

5) A visualization framework to provide an easy-to-understand
view of the network’s status and to learn about attacks while they are
happening.

The UCSB team includes Dick Kemmerer (Computer Science, Principal
Investigator), Giovanni Vigna (Computer Science), Chris Kruegel (Computer
Science), Tobias Höllerer (Computer Science), and Joao Hespanha (Electrical
& Computer Engineering). The Army will support the collaborative effort for
the coming five years.