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News Release DHS S&T Awards USC Information Sciences Institute $800K for Internet Outage Tracking Research and Development

Release Date: July 1, 2016

For Immediate Release
DHS Science & Technology Press Office
Contact: John Verrico, (202) 254-2385


Washington, DC—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded $800,000 to the University of Southern California (USC) Information Sciences Institute (ISI), based in Marina del Rey, California, to develop new tools to enhance capabilities to detect, report and study internet outages and network security incidents.  

The USC ICI contract was awarded through the DHS S&T Cyber Security Division’s (CSD) Long Range Broad Agency Announcement DHSST-LRBAA14-02. The award is part of CSD’s larger Internet Measurement and Attack Modeling (IMAM) project that is working with researchers in academia and the cyber security community to develop solutions in the areas of resilient systems and networks, modeling of internet attacks as well as network mapping and measurement.

“To fully understand and act on internet outages and network security events, we first must be able to track each incidence across multiple organizations,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “The work envisioned by USC ISI will trace disruptive cyberspace events that affect multiple networks and organizations and deliver to system administrators and cyber security researchers the essential data they need to study these events and establish new defense mechanisms.”

The S&T Cyber Security Division’s (CSD) IMAM project is aligned with Federal Cyber Security Research and Development strategic initiatives to develop a targeted set of research priorities to ensure the internet is safe, trustworthy and prosperous.  

“New, advanced tools are needed to track and observe disruptive events on the internet that impact multiple organizational-level networks so we can better understand these incidents and share the findings with the broader online community,” said Ann Cox, S&T IMAM program manager. “The USC ISI approach will greatly increase the capability of the federal government and private-sector entities to detect outages and other damaging internet events.”

USC ISI will add new capabilities to its “Retro-Future” tool—a self-described “internet DVR” that it currently is developing with DHS S&T support that will record, abstract and replay network packet traffic, DNS, routing information and other data streams. The enhancements will record and allow the replay of network data such as IPv4 internet outages to aid the study of security events while also allowing the information to be shared across organizations within privacy and policy constraints. This new functionality will enhance retrospective analysis of internet outages and network security incidents and enable faster evaluation of internet reliability to speed assessment and implementation of remedial actions to address a problem.

For more information about CSD’s IMAM project, visit https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/csd-imam.



Last Updated: 01/12/2023
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