Seminars & Colloquia

Erik Mettala

Vice President and Director, McAfee Research

"Internet Security – New Trends, New Issues"

Tuesday November 30, 2004 11:00 AM
Location: TBD, TBD NCSU Centennial Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)

This talk is part of the System Research Seminar series


Abstract: At its’ inception, research on the Internet was focused on two issues: speed and scale. Security and manageability were consciously left for later. In the mid 1980’s, investigations into security initiated the development of a number of security mechanisms that provide for authentication, integrity, privacy and non-repudiation -- these are now the classical view of security. However, with a myriad of software developers involved, with many protocol implementations written, a plethora of vulnerabilities exist today in applications, and in network protocol implementations. These are direct manifestations of examining protocol interactions at logically inconsistent time frames (e.g., speed-induced vulnerabilities) and logically inconsistent topologies (e.g., scale-induced vulnerabilities).

This seminar will present a discussion of new trends in Internet vulnerabilities, and a significantly new way to characterize emerging attacks in the context of naturally occurring asymmetries in network protocols, and the systems and organizations that use them.

Short Bio: Dr. Erik G. Mettala serves as Vice President and Director of McAfee Research in Rockville, MD, and is responsible for the strategic technology research for McAfee, managing laboratory efforts in Rockville, MD; Herndon, VA; Los Angeles, CA; and Santa Clara, CA. Under his direction, McAfee Research focuses on high risk research addressing the needs of McAfee product lines including anti-virus, anti-spam, host-based and network-based intrusion prevention, and in cooperation with U.S. Government agencies, directs the development of solutions to many of the pressing and difficult problems in information assurance, intrusion prevention, remediation, and network security.

Dr. Mettala holds the Ph.D. in Industrial and Management Systems Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Mettala joined McAfee Research after serving as the Chief Technology Officer of Advanced Coordination Technologies (ACT). Prior to ACT, Dr. Mettala served as the Chief Technology Officer of Elagent Corporation. Before that position, Dr. Mettala was the Chief Technical Officer at the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC) in Austin, TX. Before joining MCC, he served as the Associate Dean of Engineering for Research, and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Dr. Mettala served in a succession of positions of increasing complexity and responsibility in the United States Army culminating in his retirement as Lieutenant Colonel. In his last position on active duty, he served as the Deputy Director of the Software and Intelligent Systems Technology Office (SISTO) at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In that position, Dr. Mettala directed technology developments focused on artificial intelligence, which have recently been introduced to the marketplace as voice recognition software, intelligent agent-based computing, intelligent robotics, and information integration tools used in everyday practice on the World Wide Web.

During his tenure at DARPA, he served as a program manager for Software Engineering Environments and Tools, Persistent Object Bases (which supported the development of CORBA), Manufacturing Automation and Design Engineering (which supported the development of Mosaic, S-HTTP, and HTTP/S), Domain Specific Software Architectures, Formal Methods in Software Engineering, and Internetworking Protocols (which supported development of TCP/IP, SSL, PGP, and deployment of the Internet). He initiated DARPA’s Health Care Informatics Program. He also served as program manager for the Office of the Secretary of Defense Joint Unmanned Ground Vehicle Program, Demo-II. Demo-II developed and demonstrated a platoon of four roboticized HMMWV vehicles using neural network technology in reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, and navigation roles. The neural network navigation technology successfully drove a vehicle from Washington, DC to San Diego, CA in July 1993, and again in July 1995. Dr. Mettala also represented DARPA in key planning efforts within the Federal Government, including participation in the Federal High Performance Computing and Communications Program, and the Next Generation Internet Program.

Prior to his work at DARPA, he directed the software development for the United Kingdom’s Battlefield Artillery Engagement System (BATES), and he directed the software and systems development for the U.S. Army’s Tactical Simulation (TACSIM) system. Early in his career he led the software development team for the Defense Special Security System (DSSCS) Communication Support Processor (DSSCS/CSP). The CSP code ran and secured the nation’s strategic intelligence and command and control networks from 1979 to 1992.

Host: Douglas Reeves, Computer Science Department, NCSU

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