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CIS Researchers Receive 2.5 Million NSF Grant for Cybersecurity

Four Cornell computer science researchers will receive $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation to develop software tools that will improve cybersecurity. The Viaduct project is exploring a new approach that will make it easier to use cryptography to build more secure systems. Cornell CIS researchers on the project are Andrew Myers, Elaine Shi, Greg Morrisett and Rafael Pass (Cornell Tech).

“If we are serious about remaining globally competitive, we must continue to invest in research to develop new computer engineering techniques that will stop hackers in their tracks. The work coming out of Cornell will improve our nation’s cybersecurity and help foster technological innovations that will make us safer and more productive. This funding will allow our brightest minds to find solutions to current and future challenges,” said NYS Senator Chuck Schumer.

Research funds will be used to develop software using a high-level programming language, and the Viaduct system will automatically introduce sophisticated cryptographic mechanisms to make the software secure. “The Viaduct system will then automatically translate this high-level code into provably secure implementations that use sophisticated cryptography,” said Lead PI Andrew Myers.

“It’s clear that our society desperately needs new approaches to security and privacy,” said researcher and CIS Dean Greg Morrisett. “The approach we are exploring should shift the burden of the security details from the programmer to the language environment.”

Cornell CIS and Cornell Tech faculty are considered among the world’s elite for cybersecurity, privacy and cryptography research.