Hack-Proof: Hopkins at the Forefront of Push to Make Computers Secure
Johns Hopkins and four other schools have won a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish the Center for Encrypted Functionalities, through which researchers will devise encryption methods to mask from outside observers the inner workings of computer programs. The technique is called obfuscation.
The five-year project that starts immediately is a collaboration between Johns Hopkins, UCLA, Stanford University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Columbia University.
“We’re doing a lot of the basic research on trying to understand how obfuscation works,” says Susan Hohenberger, an associate research professor in the Whiting School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science, who is leading the Johns Hopkins team. “We’re scrambling the code in a mathematical way so that you can run it, but you can’t do anything but run it.”
Johns Hopkins researchers will be involved in all aspects of the project, researching obfuscation techniques and developing free online courses that will allow programmers and students worldwide to learn about cryptography.