back to article UK boffins get £3.8m pot to probe 'science of cyber-security'

GCHQ, the UK's nerve-centre for eavesdropping spooks, has established what's billed as Blighty's first academic research institute to investigate the "science of cyber security". The lab - which was set up with the Research Councils' Global Uncertainties Programme and the government's Department for Business, Innovation and …


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  1. charlie-charlie-tango-alpha


    Ross is an interesting guy and has some talented co-workers and students. But he is vehemently, and vociferously, anti-spook. So not surprising he is not on the list. Shame really. He might have been a useful counter to the possibility of group think.

  2. Pen-y-gors

    Dodgy Government stats

    "already 8 per cent of our GDP is generated from the cyber world"

    That's a lot of dosh - UK GDP 2011 was 1.5 TRILLION squids, so 8% of that is £120 billion.

    Is this accurate, particularly the word 'generated'? Possibly that percentage of GDP is involved in building infrastructure or the sale of goods that involve e-commerce somewhere down the line, but if I buy some clothes from M+S online rather than popping in to the shop, I really don't think it's fair to count that sale as 'generated from the cyber world' - I'd have bought the things anyway.


  3. Anonymous Coward

    Right man for the job

    Cabinet Secretary Francis Maude, who oversees cyber-security.

    Has this man even seen a computer?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Right man for the job

      Two fail memes in one sentence -

      Francis Maude


      We're doomed!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Right man for the job

      Maybe he just like CosPlay, silver suit and all that.

  4. Tom 7

    I hope they're not transfering the funds electronically.

    £0.00 received.

  5. Crisp

    UK boffins get £3.8m pot to probe 'science of cyber-security'

    That's an awful lot of scientists that are going to be surfing 4chan then!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " scientists - the latter being useful for studying the behaviours of criminals ..."

    I can see that use for Social Scientists, but I think perhaps they should also be pointed in a couple of other directions.

    The effectiveness of the criminals often depends on the behaviour of their victims - certainly for scams and getting unauthorised access to systems.

    For me the biggest area, though, is the behaviour of those on the inside, from managers who don't get the need for security down to the people who are responsible (or should be) for implementing secure solutions, but who just don't take it seriously enough or are subverted by the criminals.

    Finding approaches to cyber-security that address these very significant human factors would do a lot for our overall security.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: " scientists - the latter being useful for studying the behaviours of criminals ..."

      As would not outsourcing core activities to the lowest common denominator to people who don't, and can't afford to, give a stuff.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: " scientists - the latter being useful for studying the behaviours of criminals ..."

        Outsourcing - yep, forgot that one. And that includes ensuring that items which ought to be securely disposed of are.

  7. Testy McTester

    Virtual organisation

    "The lab [...] is a virtual organisation involving several universities."

    So not really organised then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Virtual organisation

      And you can never be quite sure they are doing anything useful, like an enhanced version of Schrodinger's Cat :P

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How much?

    £120 billion spent in the cyber world (presumably by Cybermen and Cyberwomen) and what is my information security budget? Approximately £0.00. If the business areas don't see it as important, I don't get the money to spend. Outrageous!

  9. Robert Grant

    Training in this stuff is new?

    In 2002 my Nottingham Uni CS course had a module where we did security. The project aspect of it had us in groups, each given a PC on a network, and we had to defend our PC and attack others. Pretty cool idea.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK boffins get £3.8m pot

    Will they be able to probe anything after smoking that?

  11. Shocked Jock

    Please, no!

    Not the "traditional computer science degrees" - not unless you're referring to those newfangled Jacquard looms, or possibly Babage's calculator. Otherwise, I think you could look up your online dictionary and find that "conventional" is the word you're looking for. In fact, you might even find it in a book - remember those? (For younger readers, a "book" was a traditional data storage medium, often with convenient data access.)

  12. koolholio

    Knowledge is only as good as it has been obtained

    "Knowledge is power, and power is something we fear being taken from us at the blink of an eye..." -- The general underlying thought of most in todays reccessionate world...

    I wonder how these experts will teach such in politically and bureaucraticly fuelled environments? The idea is wrong from the outset if you ask me... at least for any impressively productive results.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Knowledge is only as good as it has been obtained

      Yes, why don't they just employ some pros with all that money. And some computer security experts as well, if they run out of things to do with the pros, like eating caviar off them or something :P

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They should remember to tell them that real-world practical experience is actually useful - seemed to not be interesting to a panel of job interviewers in a certain Olde-Worlde Scottish Uni I met once, one old git apparently decided it was time to go out and put the kettle or polish his algorhythms or play with himself on Second Life or attend a Furry convention or whatever it is they do, without saying a word.

    The same bunch had just bagged a whole bunch of cash for grid computing research.

    As far as I know this was also same Uni that lost a great deal of research not long after, due to old building electrics/fire/no backups whatsoever. Well done chaps, keeping up the traditional image there. Could have helped ye out, ye ken? :P

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