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NSF Press Release


NSF PR 03-133 - December 3, 2003

Media contact:

 David Hart

 (703) 292-7737

NSF Science Experts:

 Carl Landwehr, Program Director

 (703) 292-8950


 Eugene Spafford, NSF Senior Advisor

 (703) 292-8900

NSF Announces $30 Million Program in "Cyber Trust"

ARLINGTON, Va.—The risks of identity theft, e-mail viruses, denial-of-service attacks, system glitches and other online hazards often make the average person's reliance on computer systems more of a leap of faith than a bond of trust. To promote research into more dependable, accountable and secure computer and network systems, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued a solicitation for the Cyber Trust program, which expects to fund up to $30 million in awards.

"Cyber Trust goes beyond protecting your computer from the next e-mail virus, although that is certainly part of the goal," said NSF program director Carl Landwehr. "People need computer systems they can rely on. They should perform as promised in critical situations, protect sensitive information, and help everyone use them securely-and with confidence."

The Cyber Trust program will support up to three research center-level efforts as well as single-investigator and team awards, subject to NSF's merit-review process and the availability of funds. NSF expects that Cyber Trust research centers will involve collaborations among academic, industry and other partners.

"Interconnected computer systems are part of the nation's critical infrastructure as well as part of people's homes, cars and offices," said noted computer security expert Eugene H. Spafford of Purdue University, who recently joined NSF as a senior advisor. "The goal for Cyber Trust research is to make these systems-and their successors-not only less vulnerable to attacks, but also less likely to corrupt data, expose private information or fail when subjected to unexpected inputs."

The Cyber Trust program is seeking innovative proposals in three broad areas: fundamental research, multi-disciplinary research and education and workforce development. Fundamental research is needed to advance the state of the art in knowledge and technology about trustworthy computing. This covers such areas as security and privacy models and metrics, evaluation and certification methods, denial-of-service prevention, long-lived data archiving methods, privacy protection and network and application forensics.

Multi-disciplinary research is needed to improve understanding of the social, legal, ethical and economic trade-offs that affect the design and operation of trusted information systems. Finally, the Cyber Trust program encourages proposals that encompass education and workforce development to ensure that those who produce, operate and use trusted systems can put the technological advances into practice.

Deadlines and additional information for proposals are available in the official solicitation, which can be found at


NSF Cyber Trust program:


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 30,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 10,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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