University of Pittsburgh
August 19, 2009

Challenges of Cyber Threats and Responses Topic of Sept. 11 Pitt Event

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-On Sept. 11, the University of Pittsburgh will host a discussion on the illicit use of the Internet. Titled "Cyber Threats: Challenges and Responses" and sponsored by Pitt's Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Studies and the John P. Murtha Institute for Homeland Security, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the discussion will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the William Pitt Union Ballroom, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

The event is a continuation of two years of research by an interdisciplinary group of technical, policy, national security, and regional scholars. What began as a discussion in response to terrorists' use of the Internet to recruit, solicit funds, plan logistics, and operate command and control has broadened to include a strategy for responding to any organization's illicit Internet activities. This event's discussions will focus on refining the strategic response model developed in previous research.

Morning presentations will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the William Pitt Union's Ballroom and will provide detailed assessments of the different classes of organizational (nation-states, criminal, and terrorist) threats and challenges. After an update on the progress of the model, an afternoon roundtable discussion will serve as a basis for further development of the response model and possible validation of that model. This roundtable discussion will be held in Room 4130 of Posvar Hall, 230 S. Bouquet St., starting at 1:30 p.m.

An affiliated lecture will be presented Sept. 10 by Thomas Longstaff of Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab at 7 p.m. in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr. His presentation, titled "Where the Wild Things Are: Analyzing Attack and Defense in Our Modern Global Cyberspace," will address the current cyber threats and challenges, explore possible responses, and serve to guide the Sept. 11 discussion.

All events are free and open to the public, though registration is requested. For additional information or to register, visit or call 412-624-7884.

Pitt's Ridgway Center is an affiliate of the University's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and University Center for International Studies.