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Brigham Young University to Build Web Authentication Tool

Certificate-based authentication systems often encounter problems with server certificates, invalid chains and other issues. In an effort to address such weaknesses, Brigham Young University is working to build a web authentication middleware tool aimed at improving online security.

The Utah university has received $527,112 from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) to fund its work. Through the department’s Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency Cyber Security Division under its Internet Measurement and Attack Modeling (IMAM) project, DHS works with “researchers in academia and the cybersecurity community to develop solutions in the areas of resilient systems, modeling of Internet attacks and network mapping and measurement,” according to a DHS news release.

BYU researchers will use the funding to further develop TrustBase, an open source middleware tool that will help Windows and Linux operating systems authenticate websites using cloud-based services.

“TrustBase would be used to subscribe to authentication services through an app store interface, which may include ratings of services by trusted security and privacy organizations,” according to a DHS statement. “The user interface will be seamless; a computer or device’s operating system will enable TrustBase to notify the user of untrustworthy sites independent of the application in use, providing enhanced online security.”

DHS S&T is funding TrustBase in coordination with the National Science Foundation. Further information is available on the DHS site.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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