Subsumed by CERIAS in 1999, COAST (Computer Operations, Audit, and Security Technology) was a multiple project computer security research laboratory in Purdue's computer science department.

Like CERIAS, COAST functioned with close ties to researchers and engineers in major companies and government agencies. COAST's research focused on real-world needs and limitations, with a special focus on security for legacy computing systems.

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CERIAS: Its Roots in COAST

CERIAS boasts an impressive beginning with roots in a research group established in the Computer Sciences Department at Purdue University in 1991. Created out of the research of professors Eugene Spafford and Samuel Wagstaff, Jr., the small research team investigated issues of computer and network security. Through initial funding from Sun Microsystems, Schlumberger, Bell Northern Research (BNR, now NorTel), and Hughes Laboratories, COAST (Computer Operations, Audit and Security Technologies) was officially born.

Over the next six years, COAST grew in faculty, students, and research, establishing itself as the largest research group in computing security in the country, reaching a peak research budget of over one million dollars per year.

COAST’s success became notable for a number of innovative and groundbreaking projects, including the COPS and Tripwire tools, the IDIOT intrusion detection system, vulnerability classification work by Aslam and Krsul, the first-ever papers describing software forensics by Krsul, Spafford, and Weeber, discovery of the lurking Kerberos 4 encryption flaw by Dole and Lodin, and the firewall reference model by Schuba.

The growth and success of COAST became a catalyst for greater interest and attention from industry, especially those seeking a platform from which o explore comprehensive solutions to security questions. The laboratory model gave way to a superior multidisciplinary and holistic approach to researching and transferring information that has become the basis for the CERIAS initiative and the origin for many respected achievements in both academia and business.

The following links can be followed to find out more about COAST, about personnel involved with COAST, and about COAST projects and publications. You can also check out our on-line security archive, which is the largest single Internet-accessible collection of security-related papers and tools.

An overview of the overall scope and goals of COAST, a précis in hypertext(link removed) and PostScript, list of current sponsors and donors, information on how to become a sponsor(link removed), and an on-line opportunity to get on our mailing list.

Security calendar, news & newsletter
Copies of our irregularly-published electronic newsletter, COAST Watch, from September 1997 through July 1998 and some notices and specialized information.

A link to our on-line calendar of security-related events. Drop us a line if you know of something we should have listed, but didn't.

COAST Researchers
Information on the faculty and students at Purdue who are associated with COAST. Also, information on some former COAST personnel who have left Purdue.

COAST Projects
Brief descriptions of current and completed research projects, with links to published papers and technical reports.

Public COAST reports and papers
A listing of recent theses, papers and reports on our projects, plus a few other papers on security that associated personnel have written. (Note: some recent publications are available only to sponsors, and may not be listed here.)

COAST Archive
The largest single archive on the Internet of papers, tools, standards, reports, mailing lists, and other information related to computer security, law, incident response, and information protection.

Related academic programs
A list (link removed) of academic programs in computer security, network security, computer crime investigation, and EDP audit at other institutions around the world.

COAST Purdue Domain Homepage
This page contains listings for proceedings and papers held by the COAST Lab as well as the table of contents for periodicals in the COAST Lab. All listed materials are available for use in CS G18. This service is available to domain users.

The Purdue Computer Emergency Response Team is vaguely related to COAST; people wishing to report problems with computer security at Purdue University should check with PCERT.