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The Role of Science in Cybercrime Prevention and Computer Security - July 14, 2010

It is our pleasure to host this distinguished lecture by  Prof. Aad Van Moorsel, Professor in Computer Science at Newcastle University, UK. The lecture will be followed by a reception. Please feel free to forward this invitation.

The Role of Science in Cybercrime Prevention and Computer Security

Abstract: Computer users and the systems they use are vulnerable to attacks and crimes. Attackers have varying motives, be it terrorist, criminal, sexual or of a more innocent variety. Computer scientists and engineers have invented a plethora of technology solutions to protect against vulnerabilities, from PIN codes to virus scanners and firewalls. But technology alone cannot solve the problem, since human behaviour and economic incentives play as important a role. This presentation will discuss the state of the art in information security, and identify how scientists can research and improve the situation. We propose a rigorous framework that supports security decision makers with tools that take into account human behavioural and economic aspects. Such tools will allow computer administrators, enterprise officers and eventually home users to better understand and trade-off the benefits and dangers of their use of information systems.

Aad van Moorsel is a Professor in Computer Science at Newcastle University, UK. He worked in industry from 1996 until 2003, first as a researcher at Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies in Murray Hill and then as a research manager at Hewlett-Packard Labs in Palo Alto. He received his PhD in computer science from Universiteit Twente in The Netherlands (1993) and has a Masters in mathematics from Universiteit Leiden, also in The Netherlands. After finishing his PhD he was a postdoc at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA, for two years. He has worked in a variety of areas, from performance modelling to systems management, from web services to cloud computing and on issues of security and trust. His current research agenda aims at establishing an intelligent enterprise, with a specific focus on trust, privacy and security. The goal is to provide tools to improve IT decision making, if possible based on objective, quantitative methods, eventually fully automated. This involves mathematical modelling, algorithms and service-oriented software implementations. The recent research is highly interdisciplinary, using ideas from social and business sciences, to gain a deeper understanding of issues of trust in, for instance, cloud computing. DTI, EPSRC and EU-funded collaborations are ongoing with Hewlett-Packard, Merrill-Lynch, Imperial College, Aberdeen, Bath, UCL, various universities throughout Europe, and the Business School as well as the Medical School in Newcastle.