J. Alex Halderman and Collaborators Receive NSF Cybersecurity Award to Develop Rapid-Response Architecture

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A team of leading security experts has been awarded $2M by the National Science Foundation for a project aimed at reducing the impact of software vulnerabilities in Internet connected systems. The researchers, J. Alex Halderman (University of Michigan), Vern Paxson (University of California, Berkeley), and Michael Bailey (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), will leverage the high-speed ZMap Internet-wide scanning system developed in Prof. Halderman's lab as the basis for a rapid response architecture to counter emerging threats.

The noted ZMap Internet scanner and other tools will be employed in the research.

The researchers' project, “Internet-Wide Vulnerability Measurement, Assessment, and Notification,” aims to reduce the impact of software vulnerabilities in Internet-connected systems by developing data-driven techniques for vulnerability measurement, assessment, and notification. This project strives to positively impact the availability and reliability of the Internet and provide the security community with tools, platforms, and comprehensive vulnerability measurement data.

The grant is one of the largest in a recently announced bundle of $74.5M through NSF's Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program. The SaTC program supports research that addresses vulnerabilities in hardware, software and networking technologies. It also supports research exploring the human components of cybersecurity, as well as efforts to enhance cybersecurity education to supply the nation with expertise to build and defend tomorrow's cyber-systems, which will support 257 new projects involving researchers in 37 states.

Prof. J. Alex Halderman is a noted security expert with interests in the areas of Internet security and privacy, electronic voting, and anti-censorship. He received his PhD in Computer Science from Princeton in 2009 and joined the faculty at Michigan the same year. Prof. Halderman was been recognized for his efforts with a Sloan Fellowship and as one of Popular Science's Brilliant 10. At Michigan, he has been named a Morris Wellman Faculty Development Professor and has been awarded for the 1938E Award in recognition of his excellence in teaching and his scholarly integrity. He serves as the director of the Center for Computer Security and Society and advises the Michigan Hackers student group on campus.

Posted: October 12, 2015