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MAFTIA short-listed for EU Descartes Prize 2004

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Zurich, Switzerland, 2004—The MAFTIA (Malicious and Accidental Fault Tolerance for Internet Applications) project has been short-listed in the field of information sciences for the annual EU Descartes Prize for Outstanding Scientific and Technological Achievements Resulting from European Collaborative Research. MAFTIA was a project under the European Union's 5th Framework Program from 2000 through 2003, with participation of IBM Research, the universities of Lisbon, Newcastle, and Saarbrücken, as well as LAAS/CNRS Toulouse, and QinetiQ (part of the British Government's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency) in Malvern. See www.maftia.org for details. The MAFTIA project team is competing with seven other finalists from 20 countries showcasing projects that range from basic sciences, chemistry and life sciences to electronics and physics.

The objective of MAFTIA was to make large network infrastructures, such as the Internet, safer for users. This was achieved by building intrusion-tolerant systems that are able to provide secure service, despite the presence of malicious faults resulting from deliberate attacks or accidental faults such as device failure.
The project team was composed of research teams from Switzerland, France, Germany, Great Britain, and Portugal and was coordinated by Prof. Brian Randell and Dr. Robert Stroud of Newcastle University. The consortium brought together international expertise in the areas of information security and fault tolerance, bridging the gap between these two disciplines in many ways. MAFTIA was the world's first project to investigate a comprehensive approach to tolerating both accidental and malicious faults in large-scale distributed systems, thereby enabling them to remain operational during attack.

IBM Zurich researchers worked with their MAFTIA partners on the development of middleware protocols for secure service replication (also known as SINTRA), an intrusion-tolerant intrusion-detection system, and on the formal verification of dependable systems.

Results of the MAFTIA project have already had an impact on IBM security service offerings, and the work on SINTRA was rated a Research Science Accomplishment in 2002.

The 5th Descartes Award Ceremony will take place in Prague on December 1-2. This year's two winners will each be awarded €500,000.

Press contact

Nicole Strachowski
Media Relations
IBM Research - Zurich
Tel +41 44 724 84 45

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