[ISN] NSF grants target cybersecurity research projects

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Wed Aug 17 02:31:17 EDT 2005


By Alice Lipowicz
Staff Writer

The National Science Foundation awarded $36 million in grants for 
cybersecurity research projects to protect computer operations at 
homes, offices and within critical infrastructure networks. The grants 
are part of the foundation's 2005 Cyber Trust program. 

The awards include $15 million for two new cybersecurity academic 
centers: $7.5 million to develop IT for trustworthy voting systems at 
Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and $7.5 million to design, 
build and validate a secure IT infrastructure for the next-generation 
electric power grid at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. 

"These two centers represent opportunities to find solutions for 
urgent national problems," said Carl Landwehr, coordinator of the 
foundation's Cyber Trust program. Each center will receive 
approximately $1.5 million per year for five years. 

At Johns Hopkins, computer science professor Avi Rubin will direct A 
Center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable and Transparent 
Elections (Accurate), a collaborative project involving six 
institutions. Accurate will investigate software architectures, 
tamper-resistant hardware, cryptographic protocols and verification 
systems as applied to electronic voting systems. It also will look at 
system usability and the interaction between public policy and 

The second collaborative center will be led by William Sanders, 
director of the Information Trust Institute at the University of 
Illinois. The new Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid 
project will bring together four institutions to develop technologies 
to carry critical information to grid operators in the event of cyber 
attacks and accidental failures. The Energy and Homeland Security 
departments also are expected to help fund and manage the center. 

The NSF also will distribute awards of at least $200,000 each to 34 
other research projects to ensure authenticity of digital media; 
develop automated defenses against cyber attacks, including viruses, 
worms and spyware; extract information from large databases without 
compromising individual privacy; protect businesses from 
denial-of-service attacks; and safeguard children’s online 
transactions by increasing parental consent.

More information about the ISN mailing list