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Alex Kent will be defending his PhD dissertation on April 4th at 3:00 pm in the Graduate Office conference room.


Protecting a large, networked set of computers within an enterprise or corporate environment is an important yet challenging endeavor within the cyber security domain. Most existing cyber defense research emphasizes singular phenomenology within the cyber environment. In contrast, the research within this dissertation focuses on improving the security of all computers as a comprehensive system within an enterprise network. This collective set of computers generates a distributed wealth of data relevant to cyber defense. This work explores a variety of ways to use these large-scale, distributed data sets to improve enterprise cyber defense. As such, this dissertation contributes several novel and applied techniques for improving cyber defense within a large network environment using unique representations of the enterprise's comprehensive operational cyber data. The contributions include enterprise data management approaches; a novel mechanism for knowledge sharing; a method for correlating web activity with indicators of compromise; an adopter model for web surfing behavior; and a graph-based approach to analyzing user authentication activity. This research demonstrates new and flexible methods of improving enterprise cyber security defense as a reflection of organization-wide network, computer, and user activity. Most importantly, this work builds a foundation of long-term, data-driven, and holistic enterprise cyber defense research.


The High Performance Computing Departmental Computing Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory are seeking Post Baccalaureate and Undergraduate (Junior/Senior) students seeking challenging paid internships for the current academic year and summer 2014. Candidates must be a US citizen and have a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 for consideration, and enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours (undergraduate). Review internship information and skills desired below and apply to this posting. Please indicate if you are also interested in being considered for any PART-TIME academic year opportunities.

Education/Experience: Currently pursuing a BS (or recent BS degree) in a Computer Science, Information Technology, Computer Engineering (or relevant degree in IT) major while maintaining a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. Selected candidates will be provided with a mentor for their appointment and an opportunity to present their projects and progress to colleagues.

Sample skills we are seeking:
Parallel Computer
Clusters Computing and System Administration
Desktop support (windows, Mac, Linux)
Programming skills (C++, java, SQL, etc.)
Linux, Redhat, Ubuntu
Computer Forensics
Enterprise Applications
Server Administration
Customer service skills
Excellent verbal and writing skills
Familiar with firewall environments
Network switches and routers
Ability to remediate network issues
Simulation and visualization
Data Storage

Position does not require a security clearance, however U.S. Citizenship is required except in very limited circumstances. Selected candidates will be subject to drug testing and other pre-employment background checks.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is an equal opportunity employer and supports a diverse and inclusive workforce. We welcome and encourage applications from the broadest possible range of qualified candidates. The Laboratory is also committed to making our workplace accessible to individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations, upon request, for individuals to participate in the application and hiring process. To request such an accommodation, please send an email to or call 1-505-665-5627.

Located in northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. LANL enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related toenergy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.

More information can be found:
Here and here


Summer Internship Opportunity – Air Force Research Laboratory

On behalf of the Air Force Research Laboratory, you are invited to send your best and brightest students to participate in the 2014 summer internship program sponsored by the Directed Energy and Space Vehicles Directorates.

The application for the 2014 Summer program will be open soon, and the AFRL will be accepting applications from students with top academic credentials and an interest in science, engineering, and mathematics. Students from undergraduate- and graduate-level studies, as well as select junior and senior high school students, are eligible for the program. Graduate students also have the opportunity to continue their thesis research, provided the AFRL topic coincides with their research objectives.

Scholars will intern within the Space Vehicles or Directed Energy directorates, facilitated by close interaction with fellow scholars and AFRL scientists and engineers in one of several research areas of interest. They will have the unique opportunity to participate in stimulating research efforts that directly contribute to the Nation’s defense, while developing skills and contacts that will be of great value when they join the professional workforce.

We hope that you will support these programs by promoting these summer research opportunities to students. For additional information and to apply to the program, please go to the website at

Attached is a printable brochure for you to pass on to your students. If you have any questions, please direct them to We look forward to having some of your talented students working with us in the summer of 2014!

AFRL Program Administration


CSE Speaker Series Presents William Claycomb, Friday December 6, 2013 3:00-4:00 pm
William Holcomb will be giving a talk this Friday on “IT System Sabotage: Characterizing and Measuring Malicious Insider Attacks.” This talk will be presented in Cramer Hall 221 from 3:00-4:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served.

“Detecting and preventing attacks on IT systems is a way of life for most systems administrators and cyber security researchers. Among the most costly and difficult attacks to handle are those carried out by trusted individuals with legitimate access to IT system resources. These “insider threats” often know exactly where to strike to inflict maximum damage, and often attack with little or no warning. Or do they? Through empirical analysis of nearly 1000 cases of actual insider crimes, we have discovered patterns of behavior that fit many types of insider crimes. By focusing on the indicators of malicious behavior suggested by these models, we can begin to detect warning signs of potential insider attack. In this talk, Bill Claycomb will present an emerging process for evaluating insider attacks. A data set of free-text events describing cases of insider threat sabotage is coupled with an analysis structure called “the triad.” The triad is a preliminary set of discrete descriptors that allows for a quick and accurate characterization of each event in a case chronology. This talk will outline development and execution of analysis using the triad, and present initial results such as the finding that the majority of cases exhibited non-technical indicators of attack prior to technical indicators (events observable on IT systems.)

Furthermore, Dr. Claycomb will describe efforts to measure the potential early warning that victim organizations may have had in these cases. This process included identifying the point of damage to the organization within the case timeline, as well as any malicious events prior to attack that enabled the event but did not immediately cause harm. This study found that nearly 71% of the insider IT sabotage cases evaluated had either no observable malicious action prior to attack, or had one that occurred less than one day prior to attack. Most of the events observed prior to attack were behavioral, not technical, especially those occurring earlier in the case timelines. Of the observed technical events prior to attack, nearly one third involved installation of software onto the victim organizations IT systems.”


Ying Fairweather presents her Master’s Thesis Defense ”Towards Multi-policy Support for IaaS Clouds to Secure Data Sharing” on Friday, December 6, 2013 from 11:00 am- 12:00 pm in Cramer 221.


Huiping Yao presents her Masters’s Thesis Defense ”An Empirical Study of Usable Security of Mobile Applications” on Monday, November, 25, 2013 in Cramer 221 from 9:00-11:00 am.


Sun Chen presents his Master’s Thesis defense ”Improving Usability and Security of Mobile Devices”, Friday November, 22, 2013 from 10:00-11:30 am in Cramer 221.


CSE Speaker Series, Friday, November 15, 2013 Melanie Palmer, William Rosenberger, and Blair Crossman

Searching for a great internship? Come hear about how three of our students spent last summer learning programming skills will working on future products for the Los Alamos National Laboratory. We will go over a short overview of what the Computer Systems, Cluster, and Networking Summer Institute at LANL is and how to apply, then go further into each of the three projects. The first will be given by Melanie Palmer on “Network Service Security through Software Defined Networking”. Next, William Rosenberger on “A Comparison of Library Tracking Methods”. Third, Blair Crossman will talk about the “Functional Assessment of Erasure Coded Storage Archive”. Each of these projects were either to test or extend a tool that LANL hopes to put into practice soon.
Join us in Cramer 221 at 2:30 for this talk.
Light refreshments will be served.


Allan Stavely, Emeritus Professor, presents “Put the Code in the Documentation” at 2:30 pm on Friday, November 1, 2013 in Cramer 221.

I’ll describe a simple technique for combining the writing of code and its technical documentation in a way that integrates those two artifacts as well. The goal is to make it easy for the programmer to record thoughts, explanations and justifications, and leave these behind as documentation, with a minimum of distraction and extra effort. I’ve found that this technique can help to solve such common problems as these:
* loss of important information and insights because they were never recorded
* effort wasted on unhelpful documentation, such as boilerplate and
repetition of information that’s already in the code
* documentation that is increasingly out of sync with the code
The technique, which I’ve called “lightweight literate programming”, can span a wide range of documentation comprehensiveness and quality depending on needs — from a programmer’s rough notes to documentation suitable for review, reporting, and even publication.


Student Research & Practice Symposium on Computational Thinking, Saturday December 7, 2013

This is a call for posters to share your recently completed or ongoing research on computational thinking. Winners will be awarded cash prizes. Deadline for submissions is November 15, 2013.

Symposium Poster


Allan Stavely, Emeritus Professor, presents “Do You Need That While-loop? Probably Not” at 11 am, on Friday April 19 in Cramer 221. Pizza will be provided, and CSE 113, 122, 213, and 324 students will receive extra credit for attending.

For iterating over data, many programmers never get beyond while-statements and their equivalents such as C for-statements, but there are usually better alternatives for most loops in most programs. I will present three: for-each loops, comprehensions, and higher-order functions. These constructs can make your code briefer and less cluttered, more obviously right, and a better fit to the problem that you are trying to solve. I will survey these constructs in many modern programming languages, including Python, Java, and Haskell, and I will mention implications of using the constructs for writing parallel or parallelizable code. For CS majors and others who aspire to be master programmers.


ACM Game Jam Friday, Feb. 15
WHAT: GAME JAM and Student Presentations
WHEN: Feb. 15 7 pm
WHERE: Speare Conference Room

This week the ACM will be hosting a VIDEO GAME DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT event. Students interested in video games and video game development are encouraged to come down and see what it’s all about!

Student Rob Kelly, professional sassafraser and part time hard rocker, will be giving a small presentation on the work he has done developing video-games. He will explain what makes game development so challenging and rewarding, provide advice and direction for beginners, as well as demo some of his own creations.

After the talk, students will be breaking into groups for a Game Jam! Each group will have one week to make the best video game they can! Rules will be announced at the meeting and online. At the end of the week, a meeting will be held to let every team present their work.

Swing by and see what it’s all about! Bring a team for the Game Jam, join up with a team there, or just listen to the talk! Everyone (CS majors and non) are welcome!

For more information, join our group at:
or check out our website

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