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Managing Emerging Threats in ICT Infrastructures (FORWARD)
Start date: Jan 1, 2008, End date: Feb 28, 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Description FORWARD is a coordination action that aims at promoting collaboration and partnership between researchers from academia and industry involved in the protection of ICT infrastructures against cyber threats such as malicious code (viruses, botnets, spyware), spam and phishing.Emerging Cyber-ThreatsThe Internet has become part of the life of millions of people who rely on it to communicate, obtain information, and perform business, on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the success of the Internet has also attracted shady characters who seek fast profit from criminal activities or fun from causing havoc and damage. As a result, the Internet has changed from an open and supportive environment into an often hostile and dangerous place. Interestingly, besides traditional attacks against servers and services, attackers are increasingly aiming at end-users. Novel threats have emerged in which the adversaries are not only interested in taking control of remote machines, but also in stealing sensitive information (such as credit card information) from their users.In addition to the threats on the Internet for users, there is the increasing problem that attacks carried out over the network have an effect on operations, processes, and organizations in the real world, such as for example on the electric power grid, on hospitals or on airports.Why Coordinating EU Research in emerging Cyber-Threats?To protect the ICT infrastructures and their users, it is vital that research is carried out to identify and counter both existing attack venues and emerging threats. In addition, research is needed to understand the impact of ICT threats and attacks on domains that build upon a working infrastructure and to identify and mitigate cyber threats.Such research is difficult to carry out in isolation, as the problems to deal with are complex and the threat landscape is constantly evolving. Moreover, researchers need data coming from many different sources to be able to observe and analyse the complex effects and characteristics of real-world attacks. Such data are difficult to obtain though and often, different organizations have access to different sets of data. Thus, researchers and industry have to cooperate to share data that they collect as well as mechanisms (e.g., simulation or large test-beds) to verify their solutions.Why FORWARD?The aim of the coordination action FORWARD is to promote collaboration and partnership between researchers from academia and industry involved in the protection of ICT infrastructures against cyber-threats such as malicious code (viruses, botnets, and spyware), spam, and phishing. The goal is to identify, network, and coordinate the multiple research efforts that are underway in these areas and leverage these efforts with other activities to build secure and trusted ICT systems and infrastructures. The Objectives of FORWARDThe main objectives of the project are to:Establish working groups to discuss best practices, progress and priorities, setting the research agendas to be pursued in Europe and identify possible new research areas and threats that need to be addressed.Set up an online platform for regularly assessing and reviewing the evolution of the threat landscape and the state of the art in threat detection and prevention techniques.Organize workshops with relevant groups of experts from industry and academia but also with policy makers for discussing and presenting the emerging threat landscape, the ongoing research in answer to these threats, and for providing recommendation on actions to be taken in partnership with industry and governments.Leverage the findings of individual working groups to describe scenarios in which adversaries use a combination of attacks to threaten the security and disrupt the lives of the people in the European Union.
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