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[] University of Illinois gründet InfoSec-Center of Excellence für NSA,

New University of Illinois Center Focuses on Information Security

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."

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