Biographical Information

Fred Cohen

Fred Cohen is best known as the inventor of computer viruses and virus defense techniques. But his work on information protection extends far beyond the computer virus realm. In the 1970s he designed network protocols for secure digital networks carrying voice, video, and data; and he helped develop and prototype the electronic cashwatch for implementing personal digital money systems. In the 1980s, he developed integrity mechanisms for secure operating systems, consulted for many major corporations, taught short courses in information protection to over 10,000 students worldwide, and in 1989, he won the prestigious international Information Technology Award for his work on integrity protection. In the first half of the 1990s, he developed protection testing and audit techniques and systems, secure Internet servers and systems, and defensive information warfare techniques and systems. All told, the protection techniques he pioneered are now used in more than three quarters of all the computers in the world.

Fred has authored over 120 invited, refereed, and other scientific and management research articles, writes a monthly column for Network Security magazine on managing network security, and has written several widely read books on information protection. His latest book, Protection and Security on the Information Superhighway, describes hundreds of vulnerabilities and incidents, uses case studies to examine how organizations protect themselves, and has been widely acclaimed.

As a corporate consultant Fred has helped secure some of the world's largest companies in the fields of information technology, microelectronics, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, telecommunications, and the financial and information industries. As a consultant to the U.S. government, and now, as a Principal Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories, he has been the principal investigator on seminal studies in defensive information operations and has worked as a principal investigator on the national information security technical baseline series of reports. He has also worked in national information infrastructure protection, with law enforcement, and with the intelligence community to help improve their ability to deal with computer related crime and emerging threats to national security. His most recent digital forensic analysis tool provides state of the art digital forensics to government, education, law enforcement, and corporations around the globe.

Fred has participated in and created numerous strategic scenario games. He devised and ran the first Internet-based strategic information warfare wargame and held several initial trial Internet-based games involving national defense and corporate personnel. In 1998, he introduced the Internet Game for information security policy development, training, and awareness in corporate, educational, and government environments, and followed this up with the Sexual Harassment Game which helps train employees on sexual harassment policies and processes. His recent introduction of several security games and simulations to the Internet are excellent examples of the work he has done in this area. He has also developed several strategic scenarios for government and private use and is currently developing and running a series of strategic scenarios to help develop research agendas and improve personnel performance for national infrastructure protection. You might like to try one of his on-line games and simulations right now:

In the past 15 years, Fred has managed organizations and projects with as many as 250 employees. Several projects he led have resulted in new business in excess of $10 million, and one project led to a 5-year government contract with a ceiling of over $1.7 billion. At Sandia, he leads an 30-person research team concentrating on critical infrastructure protection, defensive information warfare, and other defensive technologies and runs the College Cyber Defenders program. At the University of New Haven (California Campus) he leads the online digital forensic investigation program where he also teaches graduate courses in information protection.

His combination of management, technical, and communication skills, allows him to effectively bridge the gap between decision makers and implementers. His involvement in and understanding of corporate, national, and global issues, provides a context that allows him to meet challenges of unlimited size and scope. With more than 20 years of experience and a global reputation for integrity, accuracy, and innovation, Fred Cohen is widely considered one of the world's leading authorities in information protection.

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