A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

New Software Identifies Network Vulnerabilities

By Mason Spirit contributor on October 1, 2008

Hear the word “cauldron” and it probably conjures up images of bubbling elixirs and Halloween parties. But it will soon be synonymous with computer network security. That’s because researchers at Mason’s Center for Secure Information Systems have developed new software meant to reduce the damage caused by cyber attacks and computer hackers.

How does it work? CAULDRON analyzes all of the vulnerable spots in a given network, showing all possible attack paths. Users can then proactively take steps to correct the areas that need improvement to strengthen cyber security. CAULDRON also happens to be a big time-saver for organizations that, in the past, have had to rely on labor-intensive, complex, and sometimes ineffective ways to troubleshoot network security. Now they only need to run the automated software.

And big players are taking notice of CAULDRON’s importance—such as the Federal Aviation Administration. Explains Sushil Jajodia, university professor and director of the center, “They recently installed CAULDRON in their Cyber Security Incident Response Center, and it is helping them prioritize security problems, reveal unseen attack paths, and protect across large numbers of attack paths.”

The software can help not only sectors such as defense and aviation, but also areas such as banking or education.

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