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The BCS award the David Lindsay prize to CDT student.

The BCS award the David Lindsay prize to CDT student

  • Date28 January 2019

The British Computer Society and ISG award the David Lindsay memorial prize to CDT student Colin Putman. The David Lindsay award is presented each academic year to the student from the Royal Holloway College who, in the opinion of the Specialist Group, submits the best dissertation on an information security related topic.

Colin’s project focused on the Neighbor Discovery Protocol (NDP) of IPv6, which is what IPv6 devices use to learn about a network when they first join it. In its default state, the protocol assumes all other devices are benign and makes no attempts to secure itself against misuse, which opens it up to all sorts of spoofing, redirecting and man-in-the-middle attacks by devices on the same network.

Unlike the rest of IPv6, NDP can't be protected using IPsec, since it has to be used before the device can acquire an IP address (which is needed to configure IPsec). It therefore needs to be protected using other methods, and while some such extensions already exist, they have faced criticism for being incomplete, computationally expensive, and overly reliant on specific cryptographic algorithms. My project explored these criticisms and the various measures proposed to improve on specific areas, and drew some of them together in an attempt to define a more complete, improved system for protecting the protocol.

The prize is named in memory of David Lindsay, the founder and original chairman of the BCS Computer Security Specialist Group (the forerunner of the BCS-ISSG). David had a keen professional interest in security and it was a long held ambition of his for the Group to promote research in the subject. David died in April 1993, and to mark his invaluable contribution to the Group, the David Lindsay Memorial Prize was set up in 1994 as an annual award. It continues to this day.

The BCS-ISG exists not only to encourage its members to adopt best practices but also to develop new techniques within the fields of computer, network and information security. It is fitting, therefore, that the David Lindsay Memorial Prize has been established to reward work of an innovative, original yet practical nature.

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