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Contact: Chriss Swaney

For immediate release:
April 8, 2002

Carnegie Mellon Researchers Tap Medieval History To Unveil a Novel Approach to Computer Security

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Parallel Data Lab (PDL) will showcase new approaches to computer security by tapping into concepts used in medieval castles. Inspired by so-called "siege warfare" and a $4.5 million grant from the Department of Defense, Professor Greg Ganger is working on devices that would protect computer data even after intruders have hacked through traditional perimeters like firewalls. Ganger, director of the Parallel Data Lab, says these "self-securing devices" will erect their own security perimeters and defend their own critical resources just the way distinct parts of medieval castles formed distinct protective barriers, such as moats, inner sanctums, and strategically placed guard towers. The "self-securing devices" activity will be showcased together with other PDL research at a one-day PDL event attended by over 20 technical leaders from PDL sponsor companies, including EMC, HP, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Network Appliance, Panasas, Seagate, Sun, and Veritas. The PDL is academia's premiere storage systems research center and a major part of Pittsburgh's hotbed of storage research and development.

A model medieval castle, replete with siege towers and hand-made toy soldiers, will be used to illustrate some of the new infrastructure security technology research under way at the lab.

WHEN: 11 a.m. to noon, Thursday, April 11, 2002.
WHERE: The Singleton Room, Roberts Hall, Carnegie Mellon (off Frew Street in Schenley Park).


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