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The Brave New World of Computer Security

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Cristina Nita-??Rotaru, a professor in Northeastern Universitys College of Computer and Information Science.

Cristina Nita-??Rotaru, a new professor in Northeasterns College of Computer and Information Science, is an expert on distributed systemscollections of computers that work together to achieve a goal.

Credit: Matt Modoono/Northeastern University

Northeastern University professor Cristina Nita-Rotaru has been researching how to keep information both accessible and safe for 17 years.

Nita-Rotaru says her work focuses on balancing the ying and yang of the networked world. She designs collections of computers that can work together to achieve a goal while withstanding compromise--they must work despite misconfigurations and malicious attacks.

When teaching security, Nita-Rotaru and colleagues tell students a computer does no one any good if it is locked in a safe. "To be useful, computers must interact with each other through network protocols, which opens the door for attacks," she says.

Nita-Rotaru recently worked with other researchers to ana­lyze the secu­rity and per­for­mance capa­bil­i­ties of Google's new QUIC (Quick UDP Internet Connections) net­working pro­tocol, which is part of the Chrome browser. She also oversaw the devel­op­ment of technology called the State-based Net­work AttacK Explorer (SNAKE), which auto­mat­i­cally tar­gets attacks that could sab­o­tage con­ver­sa­tions between computers.

From News@Northeastern
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