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FA L L 2013

Guido reached out to famed hackerturned-DARPA program manager Pieter “Mudge” Zatko.

“Cyber Fast Track was a revolutionary way to approach government-funded security research,” said Guido. “Grants like this usually go to big companies, but in this case, DARPA focused on funding the really innovative individuals, many of whom quit their day jobs and started companies after receiving CFT grants.” Eighteen months and 100 grants later, DARPA closed the CFT program without issuing a report on the program’s progress. Guido sensed an opportunity, and reached out to famed hacker-turned-DARPA program manager Pieter “Mudge” Zatko. Together, they hatched a plan to bring the best of CFT to light at THREADS 2013. Guido invited the top ten CFT grantees to present their work at the

conference and issued a call for papers to the remainder of the CFT community. THREADS served as the first public forum on CFT, offering several hundred attendees unprecedented access to the researchers pioneering some of the most exciting work in security today. “These presentations aren’t theoretical,” said Guido. “These are working security professionals, so the kinds of itches they’re going to scratch are immediately relevant to tactical problems that need to be solved in the field.” And much the way that CFT linked researchers to DARPA, THREADS adds an element Guido believes is crucial for CSAW—it’s a draw for the professional

community. “We had fantastic attendance from students and researchers from around the world, but this is the final piece of the puzzle,” he said. “It’s especially important for students who want to pursue security to have opportunities to come face to face with professionals.” From where Guido stands, THREADS is also a glimpse into the future of security education. The cutting-edge presentations offer a sense of where he believes his teaching focus should be for the next two years. “This is the kind of research that can really influence the direction of learning, both for students and professionals,” he said, “and I get to reach out and help people understand these complicated issues.” 33

Cable Fall 2013 Issue