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CyLab Researchers Develop New Way to Thwart Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

CyLab faculty members Adrian Perrig and Dave Anderson, with computer science students Ethan Jackson and Dan Wendlandt, have created a new approach to help users securely identify internet servers in order to avoid “man-in-the-middle” (MitM) attacks. The approach, called Perspectives, is simple and cheap compared to existing approaches, such as certificate authorities like Verisign and GoDaddy, because it uses notary servers, rather than the more expensive Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), to aid in authenticating web sites that offer financial transactions requiring secure communications.

Perspectives is offered through open source code and can be downloaded for free as an add-on through Mozilla’s Firefox browser, making it easily accessible. With Perspectives availability as an add-on, the ability for users to increase their internet security and avoid MitM attacks becomes almost effortless.  

Perspectives has received important media coverage:

To learn more, view the Carnegie Mellon press release or visit the Perspectives website.


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