PCERT is a team of faculty and staff at Purdue University who work together to improve computer security, advise on policies regarding computer use and misuse, and who coordinate responses to computer security incidents on campus.
PCERT is a member of FIRST, the
Forum of Incident Response Teams. PCERT
was the first university response team admitted to membership in
associated with CERIAS (directed by Professor Eugene Spafford, one of the PCERT founders)
currently maintain an archive of security-related tools and documents.
This archive is available to Purdue users and others through a WWW
interface, and through an anonymous
ftp server. The FIRST maintains
a WWW server containing pointers to other servers for FIRST teams,
reference documents, software, and other useful information.
security problems or questions about PCERT structure or functions
may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
December, 1990 (edited February, 2002)
Computers and computer-based systems are an important part of our campus environment. Computers are used for research analysis, simulation, data collection, storage, graphics, instruction, electronic mail, process control, and administrative data processing.
these same computers can also be the targets of malicious or criminal
activity. This can include computer viruses, break-ins, theft of
data, sabotage of experiments, student cheating, economic fraud,
and political terrorism. The news has contained reports of an increasing
number of computer security incidents over the last few years. Purdue
-- with its large collection of computers and networks, large user
population, and diverse computing activities -- has had a significant
share of such incidents.
users on campus are unaware of the dangers to their computers and
data. In part, that is because of a lack of awareness of the risks
to which they are exposed. That same lack of awareness is often
coupled with a lack of knowledge about good computer security practice,
and how to recognize and respond to security problems when they
response to a growing campus, local, and national concern about
computer security, personnel within the Computer Science Department
(CS), the Engineering Computer Network (ECN), and the Information
Technology at Purdue (ITaP) organization have formed a cooperative,
non-binding advisory group, called the Purdue Computer Emergency
Response Team (PCERT), to consult on computer security issues at
PCERT name is inspired, in part, by the national DARPA (Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency) Computer Emergency Response Team
(CERT), now maintained by the Software Engineering Institute at
Carnegie Mellon University. The CERT was formed after the November,
1988 Internet worm incident to deal with national computer security
issues involving computers on the Internet. We have established
PCERT to follow CERT in function: to serve as the focus for organizing
the Purdue response to computer security matters.
The PCERT charter is:
The PCERT is not seeking any authority or regulatory role on campus. Rather, our intent is to support departments and schools in the development and administration of their own security policies and activities.