Friday, August 29, 2008

TRUST Supports Undergraduate Security Research Experience

The Daily Californian ran an article on the UC Berkeley Summer Undergraduate Program in Engineering Research at Berkeley (SUPERB) program, including a group hosted by the TRUST Center. Led by Professor David Wagner and a group of graduate graduate student mentors, the SUPERB-TRUST participants got firsthand experience conducting research into security vulnerabilities of software applications as well as general exposure to working in a university research environment.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Plug-in opens door for self-signed SSL certs in Firefox 3

An online posting of an article in INFORMATION SECURITY MAGAZINE appeared Friday about the release of a software plugin developed by CMU Professors Adrian Perrig and Dave Anderson along with Ph.D. student Dan Wendlandt. The plugin, as part of a system called Perspectives, was designed to relieve some of the anxiety surrounding Mozilla Corp's decision to not display sites with either self-signed or expired SSL digital certificates in Firefox 3.

The Perspectives system works from a series of servers that monitor website connections recording public encryption keys over time. If the servers can authenticate that the same key has been returned for a requested site for a predetermined period of time, Perspectives will override Firefox 3's default block on the site and allow the user to proceed.

See for details.

Friday, August 15, 2008

University of California, Berkeley Prof. Bajcsy wins Innovation Research Award

Hewlett Packard announced the 41 professors it has chosen to receive its HP Labs Innovation Research Awards, which fund joint research projects between academic research institutions throughout the world and HP Labs.

Drs. Ruzena Bajcsy and Van P. Carey, of the University of California, Berkeley were among the 41 professors selected.
"Deepening HP Labs' strategic collaboration with those in academia, government and the commercial sector ensures HP's research endeavors result in high-impact research that meets the scientific and business objectives of HP and its partners," said Prith Banerjee, senior vice president, Research, HP, and director, HP Labs. "The professors' deep technical expertise, HP Labs researchers' domain and industry knowledge, and governments' abilities to fund innovative research will come together to address the world's most complex IT challenges."
See complete story at MarketWatch.

Transit agency wants MIT students to stay gagged

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is providing legal defense for three MIT students prohibited from discussing vulnerabilities they discovered in subway card security by an order given to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority by a District Court Judge.

The EFF has enlisted some high-profile academics, including UC Berkeley's David Wagner, to strengthen the case that the restraining order is antithetical to security research.

Security researchers are watching this case carefully because it could ultimately set a precedent weighing First Amendment rights to publish freely against a vendor's desire to keep embarrassing and potentially explosive details secret.

Prof. Wagner and several other high-profile academics have signed a letter to the judge on Monday that says:
We are concerned that the pall cast by the temporary restraining order will stifle research efforts and weaken academic computing research programs. In turn, we fear the shadow of the law's ambiguities will reduce our ability to contribute to industrial research in security technologies at the heart of our information infrastructure. We urge that you reconsider and remove the temporary restraining order issued on August 10, 2008.
See full story at

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Research improves recognition software

On August 12, 2008, Allen Yang was featured on KGO TV in a segment titled, "Research improves recognition software".

Monday, August 11, 2008

NIST Advisory Group Welcomes Berkeley Professor

It was recently announced that electrical engineering and computer science professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Ruzena Bajcsy, has been selected to serve on the primary private-sector policy advisory body of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Bajcsy's appointment to the agency's Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT) was announced by NIST's deputy director, James M. Turner.

Bajcsy's research areas include artificial intelligence, robotics, biosystems and computational biology, and human-computer interaction. She is director emeritus of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), a UC Berkeley-based public-private partnership that develops information technology solutions to social, environmental and health care issues.

See press release in ThomasNet Industrial Newsroom.