CS Prof. Spafford named as final selectee for National Cyber Security Hall of Fame


Prof. Gene Spafford

Prof. Eugene Spafford

Purdue Computer Science Prof. Eugene Spafford will receive one of the top honors in his field when he is elected to the National Cyber Security Hall of Fame. Spafford is among five cyber security pioneers who will be enshrined in the hall of fame on Oct. 9 at a gala banquet in Baltimore.

In announcing the inductees, Mike Jacobs, the first Information Assurance Director for the National Security Agency (NSA) and Chairman of the National Cyber Security Hall of Fame said, "These honorees continue to represent the best and the brightest of our past. These individuals helped define an industry and secure a nation."

Of the more than 250 nominations reviewed, Spafford was selected due to his being one of the most recognized leaders in the field of computing and information security and his on-going record of accomplishment as a senior advisor and consultant on issues of security and intelligence, education, cybercrime and computing policy to a number of major companies, law enforcement organizations, academic and government agencies. Spafford’s other accomplishments that impressed the committee were his pioneering in the field of information security education; inventing, with Eugene Kim developed the first free, over the Internet, intrusion detection system – Tripwire; and first analyzing the “Morris Worm” one of the earliest computer worms.

“The Hall of Fame is a great honor,” Spafford stated. “It is intended to recognize major accomplishments in a career. As the youngest-ever inductee, I hope I'm not finished yet! The field has a lot of exciting possibilities yet to be explored.”

The other names that will join Spafford in the 2013 wing of the hall of fame include:

  • Willis H. Ware – Ph.D., Princeton University, 1951. Pioneer in all aspects of computer technology from hardware and software to public policy and legislation; created the first definitive discussion of information system security, as Chair of a Defense Department committee, treating the subject as both a technical matter and policy issue.
  • James Anderson (posthumously) – Effectively started the field of intrusion detection, invented the concept of the reference monitor and originated the idea of contaminated media and loading an altered OS, the “2-card loader” issue, whose intellectual successors are such things as Stuxnet, and advanced persistent threats (APT) and arguably was the first computer virus.
  • David Bell – Co-authored the “Bell-La Padula model” (with Leonard J. La Padula), the most widely used security model and the only security model referenced in the Trusted Computer Systems Evaluation Criteria. Extended computer-security principles from the Trusted Computer Systems Evaluation Criteria into other contexts, such as trusted networks and trusted database systems.
  • James Bidzos – Internet and security industry pioneer; He served as CEO of RSA Data Security from 1986 through 1999. Along with RSA co-founder and MIT professor Ron Rivest, Bidzos built RSA into the premier cryptography company in the 80s and 90s, becoming the early standard bearer for authentication and encryption; founded and continues to lead VeriSign; created the RSA Conference in 1991, and was the Chairman of the event until his retirement from that position in 2004.

Nominations were made by qualified organizations engaged in cybersecurity and were ranked and reviewed by the board using established criteria in five categories: Technology; Policy; Public Awareness; Education; and Business. The 2013 class is composed of those individuals who collectively invented the technologies, created awareness, promoted and delivered education, developed and influenced policy and created businesses to begin addressing the cybersecurity problem.

The National Cyber Security Hall of Fame was established to honor the individuals and organizations with the vision and leadership to create the foundational building blocks for the cybersecurity industry.

The Hall of Fame motto “Respect the past: Protect the future” recognizes the history and contributions of those pioneers, innovators and educators who influenced the industry and laid the foundation for the tens of thousands information security and assurance technologists working at universities, federal agencies and businesses today who stand sentry on tomorrow's cyber security challenges and solutions.

The 2013 National Cyber Security Hall of Fame Gala is part of a two-day Cyber Security month celebration that includes CyberMaryland 2013 conference. This two-day conference at the epicenter of the nation’s cybersecurity innovation and education, will create opportunities for networking and idea sharing amongst the many cyber leaders and professionals across the country, including: federal, state and local government agencies, academic institutions, cybersecurity entrepreneurs, and industry leaders of research and development.

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