Issue 18, September 2011
bulletCyber Security - Safety for Today's Information Society
bulletThe Software-Cluster - A Region of Excellence
bulletInterview: Cryptography Expert Prof. Dr. Johannes Buchmann
bulletInnovation: Self-Learning Network Attack Detection by TRIFENSE
bulletCloud Control Center: Security and Compliance for Cloud Computing
bulletTools for Critical Infrastructure Interruption Management
Across the globe, governments, societies, businesses, and individuals are facing a number of critical challenges regarding cyberspace, data integrity, authenticity, confidentiality, and security. As a response to a rising number of cyber threats, Germany's Federal Ministry of the Interior recently introduced the Cyber Security Strategy for Germany. As part of this strategy, the federal government established the National Cyber Response Center, which provides information on cyber security incidents and recommendations for action to the National Cyber Security Council.
In Germany and North America, everybody is talking about cloud computing: At the ISC Cloud '11 International Supercomputing Conference, which is currently taking place in Mannheim, Germany, experts from around the world have come together to discuss the implementation of cloud infrastructures, practices and experiences in industry and academia, as well as key security and compliance issues.
Next month, at ESSPRITS 2011, a joint German-Canadian workshop at the University of Waterloo, Canada, researchers from the fields of IT security, signal processing, control and embedded systems will address new directions and solutions in these key areas. This workshop, co-sponsored by the GCRI, will feature lectures, poster sessions, and a panel discussion as well as keynote lectures on "Challenges in a World of Ubiquitous Computing" and "On the Security of MAC Schemes in the Multi-User Setting." For more information, click here

article2The Software-Cluster - A Region of Excellence
Every continent has its Silicon Valley. The California "original" has become world-famous through consumer-oriented companies, such as Apple, Google and Facebook, whereas the European Silicon Valley, located in Germany's Southwest, focuses on enterprise software for business-to-business processes. Concentrated around renowned software development centers, including Darmstadt, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, Saarbrücken and Walldorf, the Software-Cluster researches and develops innovative enterprise software solutions. In this cluster, companies, such as Europe's largest software company, SAP AG, and Germany's second largest software company, Software AG, collaborate with some of Germany's most prestigious computer science faculties and a large number of innovative small and medium-sized enterprises to address the IT challenges of the future. Earlier this year, the federal government installed three German cyber security research centers at Software-Cluster universities in Darmstadt, Karlsruhe, and Saarbrücken. Distinguished in 2010 by the federal government as one of the ten leading-edge clusters in Germany, the Software-Cluster will be awarded as a "Selected Landmark in the Land of Ideas" of the Germany - Land of Ideas initiative on November 14, 2011. For more information, click here.

This month's GCRI interviewee, Prof. Dr. Johannes Buchmann, Director of the Center for Advanced Security Research Darmstadt (CASED) and Head of Cryptography and Computer Algebra at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, is a Software-Cluster strategy board member.

Prof. Buchmann
article3Interview: Cryptography Expert Prof. Dr. Johannes Buchmann
In this month's GCRI interview, award-winning cryptography expert Johannes Buchmann discusses IT security, cloud computing, and how quantum computers affect cryptography. Professor Buchmann is the author of the textbook "Introduction to Cryptography," a standard work at many universities. A professor of computer science and mathematics at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Prof. Buchmann founded and heads the Center for Advanced Security Research Darmstadt (CASED), one of the largest European research networks for IT security and privacy. To read the interview, click here.
The recipient of the German Research Foundation's prestigious Leibniz Prize, the Karl-Heinz Beckurts Prize and the German IT Security award, Prof. Buchmann is also one of the designated directors at the new BMBF-funded competency center, the European Center for Security and Privacy by Design (EC-SPRIDE). After discovering serious vulnerabilities of widespread WEP-W-LAN encryption and wireless DECT telephones, Prof. Buchmann's group assisted the German government in developing a secure new German ID card. Prof. Buchmann is a member of various scientific and editorial boards and a member inter alia of the Board of Trustees of the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (SIT), as well as the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and the National Academy of Science and Engineering acatech, where he coordinates a project on Internet privacy. For his full CV, click here.

article4Innovation: Self-learning Network Attack Detection by TRIFENSE
Due to the fast-paced exploitation of software vulnerabilities, today's network security technology is less effective in providing adequate protection against unknown, so-called "Zero-Day" attacks. As a result, professional hackers gain unauthorized access to high-value assets such as sensitive data or critical processes, thereby causing severe financial damages ($6.75 million per incident, on average) to individual organizations.
TRIFENSE GmbH, a Berlin/Brandenburg-based company, researches and develops self-learning solutions for ICT network security. TRIFENSE specializes in the development and integration of network security technology to protect high-risk computer networks against targeted, sophisticated hacking attacks. In contrast to state-of-the-art network security technology, the TRIFENSE attack detection module provides customized protection. Cutting-edge machine learning allows for reliable detection of known and unknown cyber attacks, the latter being deviations from data models learned over the inbound network packet payloads. The detection module currently operates at a processing speed of up to 1Gbps and can be installed on any Linux network gateway or integrated into third party network security products.
TRIFENSE originated as a result of two successful security research projects ("MIND" and "ReMIND") at the Technical University Berlin and the Fraunhofer Institute. For more information, please click here.

Cloud Control Center
article5Cloud Control Center: Security and Compliance for Cloud Computing
Assessing the security implications and risks of cloud computing is by no means an easy task. Customers of cloud providers rarely get an insight into the high level of automation, the distributed data storage, and the complex technology of virtualization. In the "AISEC Cloud Lab" at the new Fraunhofer AISEC, researchers develop solutions that enable companies to protect and control their data in the cloud. One such solution is the Cloud Control Center which currently demonstrates the functionality and applicability of two approaches. The first approach combines monitoring applications and specific security metrics based on corporate policies. This covers the complete cloud stack, presently facilitated by Ubuntu, OpenNebula, Zabbix, and several commercial tools. Cloud roaming is the second important approach. It enables a secure migration of all data from one cloud to another. During the migration the data is fully encrypted by fine-grained encryption and, depending on the security level, only parts of the encrypted data are decrypted in the new cloud.
Located in Garching, near Munich, Fraunhofer AISEC was a project group of the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (Fraunhofer SIT).  On July 1, 2011, Fraunhofer AISEC became an independent research institution. Researchers at the "AISEC Cloud Lab" support industry and public organizations in realizing innovative solutions in cloud computing, the management of digital identities, and service-oriented architectures. For more information, click here.

article6Tools for Critical Infrastructure Interruption Management
Critical infrastructures (CI) such as energy supply, the supply of drinking water and food, telecommunications, information technologies and transport systems are necessary for the functioning of a modern society. However, it is increasingly challenging for business continuity managers to secure service availability and keep CIs protected, as can be seen by the breakdown of the power supply during major incidents. This is due to the complex interior dependencies and strong cross-links between such infrastructures.
To address these challenges and to give risk and crisis managers the appropriate tools to cope with infrastructure disruptions, the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) implemented several research projects through its Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM). CEDIM activities on risk and crisis management cover a variety of areas, including the vulnerability and resilience of CI systems, as well as the impact of supply disruption on the economy and population.
CEDIM is currently developing decision support tools for risk and crisis managers who work with both authorities (e.g. fire brigades, civil protection agencies) and private suppliers (e.g. drinking water utilities, energy supply companies). Via an integrative approach of simulations, knowledge management tools and forecasting methods, managers are able to acquire an understanding of the impact of critical incidents on supply infrastructures, the economy and the population. For more information, click here.