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NSF Announces $30M Program in "Cyber Trust"

December 05, 2003

The risks of identity theft, e-mail viruses, denial-of-service attacks, system glitches and other online hazards can make the average person's reliance on computer systems more of a leap of faith than a bond of trust. To promote research into more dependable, accountable and secure computer and network systems, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued a solicitation for the Cyber Trust program, which expects to fund up to $30 million in awards.

The Cyber Trust program will support up to three research center-level efforts as well as single-investigator and team awards, subject to NSF's merit-review process and the availability of funds. NSF expects that Cyber Trust research centers will involve collaborations among academic, industry and other partners.

"Interconnected computer systems are part of the nation's critical infrastructure as well as part of people's homes, cars and offices," said computer security expert Eugene Spafford of Purdue University, who recently joined NSF as a senior advisor. "The goal for Cyber Trust research is to make these systems-and their successors-not only less vulnerable to attacks, but also less likely to corrupt data, expose private information or fail when subjected to unexpected inputs."

The Cyber Trust program is seeking innovative proposals in three broad areas: fundamental research, multidisciplinary research and education and workforce development. Fundamental research is needed to advance the state of the art in knowledge and technology about trustworthy computing. This covers such areas as security and privacy models and metrics, evaluation and certification methods, denial-of-service prevention, long-lived data archiving methods, privacy protection and network and application forensics.

Multidisciplinary research is needed to improve understanding of the social, legal, ethical and economic trade-offs that affect the design and operation of trusted information systems. Finally, the Cyber Trust program encourages proposals that encompass education and workforce development to ensure that those who produce, operate and use trusted systems can put the technological advances into practice.

Deadlines and additional information for proposals are available in the official solicitation, which can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?nsf04524.