TEES

Guofei Gu wins prestigious NSF CAREER Award

February 26, 2010

Feb. 26, 2010 — Dr. Guofei Gu, a TEES researcher and an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, has received a 2010 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award for his research in computer and network security.

The NSF awards the prestigious CAREER grants to outstanding junior faculty members to help them advance their research and teaching activities. Gu’s project, "Coordination- and Correlation-based Botnet Defense" will continue through 2015.

"In recent years, automated and massive Internet-scale malware attacks have become the main concern for Internet security. In particular, botnets have distinguished themselves from previous generations of malware as the primary platform for most Internet attacks and illegal activities," Gu said.

A botnet is a network of compromised computers, also called "bots," that are under the control of an attacker or "botmaster." With the magnitude and the potency of attacks afforded by the bots’ combined bandwidth and processing power (the number of compromised computers in a single botnet can run into the millions), botnets are now considered as the greatest single threat to Internet security.

Gu’s project aims to create a coordination- and correlation-based framework for botnet defense that improves on the detection, prevention, and attribution of botnets.

"The proposed work will develop a new cooperative detection system that will efficiently detect and monitor botnets, as well as develop new community-based collaborative prevention techniques in order to prevent malware from attaching itself to your computer," Gu said. "I also plan to explore several new directions to provide an effective botmaster attribution solution in order to better identify system attackers for prosecution. This research will not only significantly advance the field of malware defense by providing fundamentally new techniques, but will also have a broad impact in providing new foundations for building a defense-in-depth security architecture. The results from this research are likely to foster new research directions in several areas of computer and network security."

Gu received his Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008 and joined the faculty at Texas A&M shortly thereafter. His teaching and research interests include network security, system security, and intrusion detection, as well as malware detection, analysis, and defense.

The NSF established the CAREER program to support junior faculty within the context of their overall career development, combining in a single program the support of research and education of the highest quality in the broadest sense. Through this program, the NSF emphasizes the importance of the early development of academic careers dedicated to simulating the discovery process in which the excitement of research is enhanced by inspired teaching and enthusiastic learning. For more on the NSF and the CAREER program, visit http://www.nsf.gov.

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