Researchers to build model of Internet - to destroy it

Monday, 10 November 2003, 2:33 PM EST

A team of professors from the University of California-Berkeley and University of Southern California has received a $5.46 million grant to build one of the most realistic models of the Internet -- and then wreck it with debilitating hacker attacks.

Working with researchers from Network Associates Laboratories and other institutions, the team is trying to answer questions with major national security implications: What would really happen if the Internet were hit with an attack bigger than the Nimda or Slammer worms? Could we fight it with existing technology?

Or would everything connected to the Internet, from private e-mail boxes to automatic teller networks to power plants, topple like a house of cards?

They can't do the experiments that would answer these questions on the real Internet, because "you can't afford to break it," said Shankar Sastry, chairman of UC-Berkeley's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and the project's principal investigator.

[ Read more ]




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