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Posted on June 23, 2014 | 12:03 p.m.

Capps Announces $1 Million in NSF Funding for UCSB Research of Smartphones

Source: Chris Meagher for Rep. Lois Capps

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Monday announced that the National Science Foundation has awarded more than $1 million to researchers at UCSB to study how users might misplace trust when using smartphones.

As smartphones have increasingly become a tool with which millions of users handle confidential, sensitive information, they have also become targets for cybercriminals.

The research will provide a framework to model the relationships between users and their smartphone platform, along with smartphone apps and app markets. The model will allow for the systematic exploration of situations in which trust is misplaced and assumptions can be violated by cybercriminals, and it also supports the design of security mechanisms to address those identified weaknesses.

The project is under Giovanni Vigna, a faculty member of the Computer Science Department. The total award is $1,066,071.

“Smartphone technology has made incredible advances in recent years,” Capps said. “People now use their smartphones and other mobile devices for shopping, banking, social networking and other activities that can increase exposure to their personal information. This important research at UCSB will help protect consumers and improve security of our smartphones.”

Vigna said: “The results of this research have the potential of impacting the life of millions of smartphone users, providing protection against attacks that might harm their well-being.”

Chris Meagher is the press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

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