JHUISI (prounounced "juicy") is the Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute. It does research into computer security, cryptography, and security policy and law, with an emphasis on (hopefully) practical results. It was founded by Gerald M. Masson, former chair of the CS department at Hopkins, in 2000. It is currently based in the Wyman Park medical building, just east of the main Hopkins campus in Baltimore.

Most of the staff are part of the Computer Science or Mathematical Science departments of the university, or the Applied Physics Lab in nearby Laurel, but there are also a number of people working for JHUISI who are otherwise unaffiliated with JHU.

A sub-organization of JHUISI is the Systems Research Lab (SRL), run by Jonathon Shapiro. Work there includes OpenCM (a secure CVS replacement), and EROS, the Extremly Reliable Operating System. There is also a project, PA-RAID (prounounced parade), which is a strange RAID system that I don't understand at all.

EROS is an attempt to create a highly secure OS; the goal is to reach EAL7, the highest level of security defined by the Common Criteria (actually, only up to EAL4 is currently defined, but EAL7 is supposed to exist). The equivelant of EAL7 in the old TCSEC rating system, which more people are familiar with, is A1. It is a capability based operating system with persistent state, meaning that it saves all of it's state to disk ever few minutes (there are tricks that make this reasonably fast, in spite of what you might think). The main groups interested in EROS right now are the military (big suprise), and the makers of set top boxes.

OpenCM was created basically because EAL7 will require the use of a secure configuration managment system for the development of the system, and CVS just doesn't cut it, from both a security and practicality perspective. I'm working on OpenCM this summer, and probably will eventually be the primary maintainer. (Update: I stopped working on OpenCM in March 2003)

JHUISI offers a Master's degree in information security, and a large number of computer science students work and/or do research there.


JHUISI: http://www.jhuisi.jhu.edu/
SRL: http://www.srl.jhu.edu/
EROS: http://www.eros-os.org/
OpenCM: http://www.opencm.org/

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