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Securing Scientific Computing Integrity

CRD's Peisert Compiles ASCR Workshop Report on Cybersecurity

March 20, 2015

Download ASCR Cybersecurity workshop report PDFSean Peisert of CRD’s Integrated Data Frameworks Group has published a report from a DOE workshop on ASCR Cybersecurity for Scientific Computing Integrity. Peisert co-chaired the workshop held Jan. 7-9 in Rockville, Md. CRD Director David Brown and ESnet’s Brian Tierney were members of the workshop organizing committee. Eric Roman of CRD and Scott Campbell of NERSC participated in the workshop.

According to the report, “scientific computing integrity assurance is of extremely high importance,” given that the “areas for which DOE is uniquely responsible, including energy, environment, and nuclear weapons all affect our nation’s future security and prosperity…Even for the basic science, it is vital that if U.S. taxpayer dollars are to fund a large cadre of the nation’s top scientists to do research, that the results can ultimately be trusted. And for applied science, the integrity of the computations and the data used to achieve these results is critical to provide confidence in any resulting policy decisions, as well as ensuring the safety of DOE’s own scientific instrumentation infrastructure.”

The report notes “We define scientific computing integrity as the ability to have high confidence that the scientific data that is generated, processed, stored, or transmitted by computers and computer-connected devices has a process, provenance, and correctness that is understood. Vital components of scientific computing integrity are also metrics and measures of both integrity and uncertainty in order to evaluate how much confidence can be placed in that data. Thus the development of advanced scientific computing methodologies for the design and evaluation of security of large-scale computational systems in the interests of assuring scientific computing integrity is of vital importance. DOE science uses a spectrum of both commodity and exotic technologies, including software, data, and hardware computing assets that have risk profiles that are poorly understood by the research and computer security communities.”

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences Area provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials, and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 7,000-plus scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). NERSC and ESnet are both Department of Energy Office of Science National User Facilities. The Computational Research Division (CRD) conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are Department of Energy Office of Science User Facilities.

Berkeley Lab addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science.

The DOE Office of Science is the United States' single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.