Sharon Goldberg, Institute Fellow, Discovers Flaw in Computers’ Timekeeping

As featured in recent worldwide news, Sharon Goldberg, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Hariri Institute Fellow, discovered a potential vulnerability in the Network Time Protocol (NTP), the software that synchronizes clocks on computers. In a paper released on October 21st, Goldberg and her team reported a security problem that affects the clock function of tens of millions of computers on the internet. Applications ranging from bank website encryption schemes to bitcoin systems to website authentications could have been breached. Happily, says Goldberg, fixes for the vulnerability were implemented before the paper was published.

Goldberg’s work helps cement “BU’s presence in cybersecurity,” says Azer Bestavros, a CAS computer science professor and director of the Hariri Institute. “Sharon’s work often involves undergraduate students, and they get inspired by taking her courses, underscoring how excellence in research contributes significantly to the quality of teaching and experiential learning.”

[Read the full BU Today article]

[Read the Ars Technica article]

[Read the ZDNet article]