UConn-Comcast launch security research center during Heartbleed week

Center of Excellence for Security Innovation established

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Credit: UConn

John Schanz, Comcast EVP and Chief Network Officer, announcing the Center of Excellence for Security Innovation at UConn

The University of Connecticut has joined forces with Comcast to launch the Center of Excellence for Security Innovation at UConn's Storrs campus, building on the school's already well established Center for Hardware Assurance, Security and Engineering (CHASE).

The news came late last week amidst the revelation of the Heartbleed bug, which has companies scrambling to patch servers and other network gear as users redo their passwords. The center's launch also comes at time during which nearly 1 in 5 users say they've had personal info stolen online.

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The university and service provider announced their partnership during a two-day national conference at UConn on secure/trustworthy systems and supply chain assurance. Together, they hope "to develop robust detection systems and analytical tools to ensure that the computer chips and other hardware components vital to Internet broadband systems are shielded from malicious attacks, unauthorized access, and faulty or counterfeit products."

The Center of Excellence in Security Innovation will be located in UConn's Information Technologies Engineering building in Storrs. Research projects will be sponsored by Comcast but most likely by other outfits as well, including the federal government. A couple of UConn Ph.D. candidates this summer will get internships at Comcast.

Mark Tehranipoor, director of CHASE, will also serve as director of the Center of Excellence in Security Innovation.

Comcast is already tight with UConn, as a founding member of CHASE, which is also supported by the Department of Defense, National Science Foundation and Cisco, among others.

Comcast reportedly will invest millions in the new security center, endearing the company more to UConn than to many others. While not ungenerous, millions is of course chump change for Comcast, which is currently trying to buy Time-Warner for $45 billion to create an even more gigantic cable/Internet service provider.

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