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Interns Learn Security at ISTSĀ 

On Lyme Road, just north of campus, faculty, investigators, and students are working together at Dartmouth's Institute for Security Technology Studies (ISTS), a cybersecurity technology research and assessment center focused on keeping the Internet and computer networks healthy and secure. ISTS researchers have created many opportunities for students. Over the past year, two interns have contributed to projects that address two important but vastly different aspects of cybersecurity.

Eric Krupski '04 was part of the Investigative Research for Infrastructure Assurance (IRIA) group at ISTS. This group develops tools to help protect the Internet and other large computer networks from malicious attacks, such as worms or viruses. Computer networks support most critical infrastructures, such as our power supply and the banking and finance industry, so securing them is critical. Krupski, a computer science and mathematics major, helped develop software that protects web servers from attacks and overwhelming traffic.

"I was surprised to see how rich, thick, and robust the multi-layered network protocols are. I got an eye-opening introduction to how the Internet and web servers work," says Krupski. "I enjoyed the constructive side of research-making a new piece of software and seeing it through the development process-and, hopefully, it will soon be released publicly."

George Bakos, Krupski's project leader and a senior research engineer with IRIA, notes, "Eric's eagerness to learn kept me busy, and our project has benefited from his commitment and enthusiasm. I think his experience at ISTS provided him with a better understanding of secure programming practices and an awareness of the threats that exist in this field."

Welton Chang '05 worked with ISTS's Technical Analysis Group (TAG), which focuses on identifying and addressing critical cybersecurity needs for federal, state, and local law enforcement.

Chang sharpened his research skills by analyzing publicly available information about international cyber capabilities. The government major enjoyed sifting through U.S. news and government reports, and he also utilized the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, which collects and translates current political, economic, technical, and military information from the media worldwide for the U.S. government.

"I used unclassified and open sources, researching on the Internet and at the library," says Chang. "ISTS is a great place for students to get experience in cybersecurity and other computer-related fields."

Kathleen Cassedy, a research associate with TAG and Chang's supervisor, praised his work. "It's been great having Welton work on this project," she says. "He demonstrated early on that he could produce at a high level, drawing on his research, writing, and language skills. He was a fully contributing member of our team."

- By Susan Knapp

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Last Updated: 9/12/08