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[ISN] IU teaming with feds to 'know' hacker 'enemies'
Forwarded from: William Knowles <wk@xxxxxxx>
By Allie Townsend
Indiana Daily Student
November 09, 2005
Security monitors developed by IU Pervasive Technology Labs are
currently being used by the Federal Department of Defense as a tool to
beat terrorist hackers.
The mantra, "Know Your Enemy," is the drive behind the development of
these security monitors by the international HoneyNet Project, a
non-profit organization committed to maintaining and developing
internet security and giving free access to the public.
Starting in 1999 as a loose band of security researchers, the HoneyNet
Project has now spread to a global effort for understanding and
stopping potential attempts to influx computer networks funded in part
by the National Intelligence Council. The IU Pervasive Labs are
entering their fourth year as members of the HoneyNet team, designing
key components to some of the Project's biggest developments -- many
of which are being used by the federal government.
"It is my understanding that (the government) is doing pilot studies
now on some of HoneyNet's projects," said Researcher for the Advanced
Network Management Lab Ed Balas. "Some of the other components have
been used by the FBI in different investigations."
According to project.honeynet.org, HoneyNet's primary purpose is to
capture extensive information about cyber threats through a highly
controlled network -- one that can control and monitor all activity
that happens within it.
A need for this information came after hackers and other network
intruders started to impose threats on a personal and national level.
"We started seeing a good number of worms and we just started to look
strongly into security," Balas said. "We needed to know what should be
done to keep networks running efficiently."
One of the components born in the IU labs is Sebek. Designed by Balas,
Sebek is an operating system enhancement developed to watch intruders
once they break into a system. Information such as this could allow
the government to track an intruder and mislead them with false
Knowledge, stresses Balas, is the biggest defense against
"What we are doing won't stop anything from happening," Balas said.
"What it does is help us understand the risks. There is a lot of doubt
in the security world, but what you want to know is how to apply the
knowledge that you find."
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