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Computer Architectures, Algorithms, Security


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Protecting your Networks a Single Bit at a Time

Network CardModern networks need to be constantly on the prowl for the bad guys: worms, intruders, denial-of-service attacks, etc. As we learn more information about the way these bad guys attack our machines we can start to develop rules - or specifically sequences of text - that tell us that an attack is occurring. The problem is that this list of rules already has more than 100,000 entries, and is growing larger by the second. While that does not sound too bad, the problem is that we want to search every byte of every pieces of data sent over the internet for each and every instance of these 100,000 rules - many billions of characters of text each and every second.

Professor Sherwood has developed an approach that relies on a special purpose computer architecture to execute novel pattern matching algorithms that work by tearing apart this large database of string into tiny bit patterns, each of which then runs on a tiny 1-bit CPU. It is shown, for the first time, that these tiny little machines all working in unison will find these patterns perfectly and up to 10 times more efficiently than past approaches.

Tim Sherwood, University of California-Santa Barbara

Agencies/Institutions (that have supported the research):
NSF, University of California-Santa Barbara


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