Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Iowa State University Ready To Hit Hackers Head-On With First-Of-Its-Kind Computer Security Laboratory

Date:
October 27, 2003
Source:
Iowa State University
Summary:
For years, Iowa State University researchers like Jacobson have been utilizing computer simulations to create defenses against hackers and other information bandits. Thanks to a nearly $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Jacobson and several ISU colleagues are poised to establish the nation’s first-of-its-kind cyber defense laboratory. In short, they’re ready to build their own virtual battlefield.

When it comes to computer security, Doug Jacobson is tired of playing nice.

Related Articles


For years, Iowa State University researchers like Jacobson have been utilizing computer simulations to create defenses against hackers and other information bandits. But these traditional programs are difficult to interface with real-world equipment, and they fall short of generating the perfect environment for obliterating security breaches.

But thanks to a nearly $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Jacobson and several ISU colleagues are poised to establish the nation’s first-of-its-kind cyber defense laboratory. In short, they’re ready to build their own virtual battlefield.

The Internet-Scale Event and Attack Generation Environment (ISEAGE – pronounced “Ice Age”) is, quite simply, a virtual Internet. Created by scientists affiliated with the university’s Information Assurance Center (IAC), considered a national leader in computer security education, the laboratory will allow researchers to test defense systems in an actual environment where real attacks can be used.

“Since we can’t take over the real Internet, we’ve decided to recreate our own Internet laboratory,” Jacobson, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, explained. “We will be able to carry out computer attacks exactly as they happen in the real world.”

The ISEAGE facility will consist of a large room filled with computer equipment designed to recreate Internet activities. Jacobson, who will serve as the laboratory’s director, anticipates many uses for this facility:

---Protection of government and civilian infrastructure. The power grids for many major systems (e.g. transportation, water systems, bureaucracy management) are computer-controlled.

“It’s important that we understand how these infrastructures work together, understand their vulnerabilities and learn how to protect against certain attacks,” Jacobson said. “Many infrastructures are highly interconnected; we’ll attack Points A and B and check for the possibility of system penetrations. ISEAGE won’t be burdened by playing nicely on the Internet.”

---Evaluation of existing business and industry computer security systems. Through the use of specialized tools, ISEAGE will be able to mimic the types of Internet traffic an organization may typically experience, then superimpose various attacks on the company’s established safeguards to determine their effectiveness.

---New security product testing. “We’ll be able to recreate exactly what manufacturers would see if they plugged these devices into the Internet at their customer facilities,” Jacobson said. “Then our laboratory can launch all kinds of attacks on these products, before they’re ever marketed, to see what they can withstand. While lots of companies have small test labs, they’re only able to look at bits and pieces of their products. Our full-scale re-creation provides a much bigger attempt for determining product reliability.”

---Fighting cyber crime. ISEAGE will help develop new forensics mechanisms that will trace back systems attacks, Jacobson said, that will “figure out who did it and what they did.” Since budget cuts have eliminated the Iowa Criminalistic Laboratory’s computer forensics expert, the IAC, along with Iowa State’s Department of Public Safety and Midwest Forensics Resource Center, hope to establish a computer crime investigation effort at ISEAGE that can serve state law enforcement agencies.

---Support academic and research efforts. More than 30 Iowa State faculty members initially will be conducting research at the lab in the areas of computer security and security tool development. In addition, ISEAGE will provide instructional support to the university’s current courses in information assurance and networking, and students will benefit from access to the facility’s equipment to conduct their own research.

The ISEAGE laboratory will be located at the ISU Research Park and open for business early next year. While the Department of Justice grant will serve as “seed money,” a total of $3 to $5 million is needed for the facility to be fully operating, Jacobson said.

“This grant money will build a small part of ISEAGE, prove our concept and then allow us to go out and raise the rest of the money,” he explained. “Hopefully, by early 2005 everything will be in place. But ISEAGE will continue to evolve and require constant care and feeding.

“This facility will draw good people, good resources and will become a focal point for security research,” Jacobson continued. “ISEAGE will do for this type of research what the C6 [the world's first fully immersive, six-sided virtual reality theater with wireless tracking and navigation] has done for human computer interaction initiatives. It will allow Iowa State to once again stand out.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Iowa State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Iowa State University. "Iowa State University Ready To Hit Hackers Head-On With First-Of-Its-Kind Computer Security Laboratory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 October 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031027062315.htm>.
Iowa State University. (2003, October 27). Iowa State University Ready To Hit Hackers Head-On With First-Of-Its-Kind Computer Security Laboratory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031027062315.htm
Iowa State University. "Iowa State University Ready To Hit Hackers Head-On With First-Of-Its-Kind Computer Security Laboratory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031027062315.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins