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 Gupta to Work on Information Security Project

Mukul GuptaMukul Gupta, a fourth-year doctoral student, along with Prof. Alok Chaturvedi, management information systems; Shailendra Mehta, director of Krannert Entrepreneurship Initiative and co-director of Purdue E-Business Research Center (PERC); and Prof. Bharat Bhargava of the Purdue Computer Science Department, received a grant of $60,000 from the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS). The grant will fund a project titled "Behavior-Based Artificial Agents for Information Security."

According to Gupta, the project will determine how the activities of cyber terrorists/hackers can potentially affect an economy. The researchers will work in the Synthetic Environments for Analysis and Simulation (SEAS) lab to create artificial "agents" that will emulate the behaviors of perpetrators who try to break into into information systems.

"We will see how successful the artificial economy will be when the agents are introduced into its environment," Gupta says.

Obtaining the information about security solutions is easy; it is provided by CERIAS. Creating the simulated hacker "agents," however, will prove to be a little more difficult. "A lot of data on hacker activities isn't available; companies don't want to give out the information," Gupta says. "We received some data through CERIAS on ways hackers have broken into security systems. The data is summarized from different sources; it doesn't give the names of the companies or supply enough specific data that you would know who a company is. We are also keeping up with the news on information security breaches." 

Gupta says the researchers hope the results will benefit financial institutions. "We want to come up with successful strategies to minimize losses for these companies," he says.

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