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IARPA Awards U of M-MIT Partnership Important Cyber-Security Research Grant

For release: August 15, 2012
For press information, contact Dr. Dipankar Dasgupta, 901-678-4147

Dipankar Dasgupta
Dipankar Dasgupta

Dr. Dipankar Dasgupta, University of Memphis computer science professor, and John R. Williams at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been awarded a one-year $853,289 grant to develop a biologically inspired way to secure computer information and networked systems. The funding from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) will support development of a novel “Negative Authentication System,” which is expected to immunize password-protected information systems from cyber-attacks.

Over the next year the Memphis-MIT research team will design the system, which will provide an additional layer of password protection, invisible to the user, to be placed into network user identification and authentication systems to effectively thwart increasingly vicious cyber-attacks. Once the new system is developed, research partners at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will test various versions against online and off-line attacks.

Dasgupta is one of the pioneers of immunological computation research and applications and is a global leader in the broader field of bio-inspired computing in cyber-security. He directs the Center for Information Assurance and the Intelligent Security Systems Research Lab at the University of Memphis, where he is also the 2012 recipient of the Willard R. Sparks Eminent Faculty Award.

IARPA tackles some of the most difficult challenges faced by the intelligence agencies by investing in high-risk, high-payoff research programs that have the potential to provide the United States with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over future adversaries.

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