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  • Monday, June 19, 2017

CTSC/CCoE Webinar: Using the blockchain to secure provenance meta-data

With Dr. Richard Brooks and Dr. Tony Skjellum

Event details

  • Date & time
    Monday, June 19, 2017
    11am-12pm
  • Location
    Online webinar

Register here

About this event

The Center for Trustworthy Scientific Cyberinfrastructure (CTSC) announces the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (CCOE)Webinar Series to fulfill their mission of providing readily available cybersecurity services tailored to the NSF science community. 

Provenance meta-data, also known as data pedigree, is a set of data that explains how information was derived. A number of provenance systems exist. They are useful for finding the sources of errors; allowing system users to have confidence in the materials; and potentially providing legal justification for decisions. An open issue has been how to properly secure this meta-data, in a manner that extends beyond trusting the information providers. Blockchain technology provides a universally accessible ledger of transactions that is the basis of the current generation of crypto-currencies. The blockchain structure provides guarantees of system integrity that make it exceedingly difficult for malicious insiders to tamper with data. Our project adapts blockchain concepts to securing provenance meta-data. The talk we present will include the following topics:

  • A brief survey of provenance systems that discusses security needs;
  • The presentation of three illustrative use-cases that motivate the development of a provenance security framework;
  • A short tutorial on the structure of the blockchain;
  • A brief overview of the current generation of crypto-currencies;
  • An explanation of what aspects of crypto-currencies are ill-suited to our application;
  • An overview of our system architecture, emphasizing two important points:
  • Our ability to integrate existing tools, and
  • The portions of the system that we are developing;
  • A discussion of our current status; and
  • Plans for the next phase.

The webinars are recorded and will be linked on YouTube and on this page for later viewing. Each webinar includes time for questions from attendees, so please join the live webinar if you are able. They use Adobe Connect to conduct the webinars (test your connection, Adobe add-in not required for participants). Participant lines are muted. They provide a chat box for participant questions.

Upcoming topics are communicated on their blog.  If you have questions or comments after the webinar, please join their discussion mailing list. To submit topics or request to present, contact them here.


  National Science Foundation CTSC CCoE


As the National Science Foundation Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, CTSC draws on expertise from multiple internationally recognized institutions, including Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute, the University of Illinois, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. Drawing on this expertise, CTSC collaborates with NSF-funded research organizations to focus on addressing the unique cybersecurity challenges faced by such entities. In addition to our leadership team, a world-class CTSC Advisory Committee adds its experience and a critical eye to the center's strategic decision-making.

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