The "Science of Cyber" and the Next Generation of Security Tools

Presented at ShmooCon X (2014), Jan. 18, 2014, 4 p.m. (60 minutes)

Governments around the world are investing heavily in the so called "science of cyber" in order to create a rigorous scientific base for the next generation of security tools. But what's going on in the walled-off world of academia? Will this new science eventually lead to more improved security in cyber space? In this talk, I will describe three ongoing projects at West Point in collaboration with Oxford University, the Netherlands Defense Academy, and George Mason University where we are actively conducting research in this new area of science. We will look at how a new logical theory is being developed to shed light on the attribution problem, how we are looking to use graph theory to defend against an already-compromised network, and how a game theoretic model can help us protect from particularly devious attacks against the smart grid. We firmly believe that exposing such research to the community of practitioners (i.e. the ShmooCon audience) will help initiate a dialogue with academic in order to both ground scientific endeavors in the real world as well as lead to more rapidly fielding of cutting-edge innovation.


  • Paulo Shakarian
    Paulo Shakarian is a Major in the U.S. Army who possesses not only a Ph.D. in computer science, but has over two years of combat experience on the ground in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He currently teaches computer science and conducts research at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He is the author of over 30 peer-reviewed academic papers as well as two books, including Introduction to Cyber Warfare (Syngress, 2013). His work has previously been featured in The Economist (print), WIRED, BBC News, MIT Technology Review, Help Net Security, and others.

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