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K-State Today

September 24, 2013



Computing and information sciences seminars presents Rob Jansen's lecture about security anonymity, supercomputing

By Ami Ratzlaff

Computing and information sciences seminars presents Rob Jansen, computer research scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., on security anonymity and supercomputing at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, in 126 Nichols Hall.

The lecture title is "Shadow: A Simulation/Emulation Hybrid for High Performance Computing in Systems Security Research."

Experimentation has long been a integral part of computer science security research. However, existing experimentation approaches are often lacking. New design proposals for and attacks against existing systems are challenging to test in a live network because of deployment issues and the risk of invading users’ security, while alternative experimentation techniques are limited in scale, are inaccurate or create results that are difficult to reproduce or verify.

In this talk, Jansen will present the design and implementation of Shadow, a simulation engine for efficiently running accurate on a single machine. To demonstrate Shadow’s powerful capabilities, we will show how we use it to experiment with private Tor anonymity networks, present network validation results, and show how it scales to tens of thousands of nodes. He will also describe how Shadow has been used to enhance research in the area of privacy-enhancing technologies, and how high performance computing drastically improves the accuracy and efficacy of our analyses. Shadow runs without root privileges and is an open source project publicly available for download.

Jansen's educational credentials include doctoral and master's degrees in computer science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where he completed graduate studies in just four years under Nicholas Hopper's advisement, and a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Minnesota, Morris. Jansen is a member of the privacy-enhancing technologies community and received multiple recognitions in the area over the last year, including best student paper and PET award runner-up. His research focus includes the design of new algorithms for improving both security and performance of anonymity and other communication networks, as well as the identification and evaluation of practical threats against widely used high assurance systems.