Grant funds computer worm research

April 05, 2004

MELBOURNE, FLA.--Florida Tech's Dr. Richard Ford, computer science research professor, has earned a $76,000 grant from Cisco System's Critical Infrastructure Assurance Group. The grant is to investigate the spread of computer worms in a "realistic" computing environment.

Rapidly spreading malware (malicious software, such as Trojan horses, viruses and worms) pose a major threat to the stability of a computer network. Although there is great awareness of the problem, the details of the malware spread over the Internet are not well known.

"It is difficult to teach about computer virus epidemiology as there are no tools available for classroom use. This project aims to rectify this by providing a simple tool that teachers can use to show how computer viruses spread within a network," said Ford. A more sophisticated version of the tool can be used to model "real" networks, including topological effects.

Ford, with the support of graduate students, hopes to develop and release v1.0 of the tool by early March.

Cisco Systems is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet.
Florida Tech offers bachelor's master's and doctoral degrees in computer science; bachelor's and master's degrees in software engineering; and the bachelor's degree in information systems.

Florida Institute of Technology

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