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UCSD gets $1.4M to help reveal Internet's vulnerability to cyber attacks

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has decided to give UC San Diego nearly $1.4 million to help scientists find better ways to spot where the Internet is vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Much of the money will be used to model cyber attacks and measure their impact in hopes to slowing the increase in serious hacking incidents that have been occurring nationwide.

The attacks are starting to resonate with the public, particularly an incident on Oct. 21 in which still unidentified hackers disrupted scores of top websites, including those for PayPal, Twitter, Airbnb, Netflix, Reddit and Spotify.

Douglas Maughan, a Homeland Security cybersecurity executive, said in a statement: “The UC San Diego project focuses on unexplored areas of the cybersecurity domain that will give the research community a fuller understanding of infrastructure vulnerabilities and of new approaches for measuring and analyzing critical cyber infrastructure that is tied to the Internet.”

UC San Diego has a long history in cyber research. Its scientists have done everything from simulating Internet crimes to showing how hackers can remotely break into motor vehicles.

The new research project will be carried out by the San Diego Supercomputer Center, which is part of UC San Diego.