The IMPACT Project

This page describes CAIDA's participation and contributions to the DHS Information Marketplace for Policy and Analysis of Cyber-risk & Trust (IMPACT) project.

Renamed at the end of 2015, this project was previously known as the DHS Protected REpository for the Defense of Infrastructure against Cyber Threats (PREDICT) project.

IMPACT Project Overview

Researchers require current data on Internet security threats, including samples of normal and malicious Internet traffic, malicious software samples, and logs from machines compromised in targeted attacks, and other data to develop hardware and software that protects against and mitigates the effects of hacking attempts and malicious software. Concerns over privacy, security, proprietary information, and legal risks make collection and distribution of such data difficult for the owners of the infrastructure, owners of data, collectors of data, and distributors of data. Thus, few organizations make datasets available for the development and testing of defensive technologies.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has developed the Information Marketplace for Policy and Analysis of Cyber-risk & Trust (IMPACT) project to provide vetted researchers with current network operational data in a secure and controlled manner that respects the security, privacy, legal, and economic concerns of Internet users and network operators. Three primary goals of IMPACT are:

  1. To develop, implement, and maintain a Web-based portal that catalogs current computer network and operational data and handles data requests.
  2. To enable secure access to multiple sources of data collected on the Internet.
  3. To facilitate data sharing among IMPACT participants for the purpose of developing new models, technologies and products increasing cyber security capabilities.

More information about IMPACT is available in the Overview of the IMPACT program.

CAIDA's Role in the IMPACT Project

Research on rapidly advancing information and communication technology (ICT) has exposed gaps between what researchers could do and what they should do, thereby creating ethical challenges. Research involving network measurement offers great promise for empirical and generalizable knowledge and innovation, yet can often place researchers at ethical crossroads. In addition to ensuring the legality of research activities, researchers, institutional review boards, funding agencies and organizations must also be cognizant of the ethical principles and applications that serve as foundational underpinnings for trusted and sustainable research.

Through IMPACT we are continuing to explore the complex issues surrounding ethics as they relate to cyber security research. CAIDA has played a founding and leading role in providing thought leadership and helping to interpret ethical principles in the context of network and security research, and in developing community-based guidelines that can enable researchers, and research review boards understand the importance and the need for understanding the impacts of a given research project.

Funding Support

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Support for the Information Marketplace for Policy and Analysis of Cyber-risk & Trust project is provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cooperative agreement FA8750-18-2-0049 Advancing Scientific Study of Internet Security Topological Stability, S&T contract NBCHC070133 Supporting Research Development of Security Technologies through Network Security Data Collection, and S&T cooperative agreement FA8750-12-2-0326 Supporting Research and Development of Security Technologies through Network and Security Data Collection. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of DHS or the U.S. Government.

Related Links

Additional Content

IMPACT Legal Tools

The IMPACT project hosted legal templates that were free to review, modify, and use, established to ensure appropriate access to and use of IMPACT data and to ensure that all participants in IMPACT were protected.

Summary of Anonymization Best Practice Techniques

This page describes issues, offers recommendations for anonymizing IP address fields in captured trace data from three different network environments, and links to an annotated bibliography of papers in the field.

CAIDA Publications funded by the IMPACT project

Below is a list of publications in the academic literature, (co-)authored by CAIDA researchers that explicitly acknowledge funding from the IMPACT project.

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