Alexander Kott serves as the chief of the Network Science Division of the Army Research Laboratory headquartered in Adelphi, MD. In this position, he is responsible for fundamental research and applied development in performance and security of both tactical mobile and strategic networks. He oversees projects in network performance and security, intrusion detection, and network emulation. Between 2003 and 2008, Dr. Kott served as a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program manager responsible for a number of large-scale advanced technology research programs. His earlier positions included technical director of BBN Technologies, Cambridge, MA; director of R&D at Logica Carnegie Group, Pittsburgh, PA; and IT research department manager at AlliedSignal, Inc., Morristown, NJ. Dr. Kott received the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Public Service Award and accompanying Exceptional Public Service Medal, in October 2008. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, in 1989, published over 70 technical papers, and co-authored and edited six technical books.
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) received the first salvos in the battle for cybersecurity as early as three decades ago. In terms of technology history, it was an astonishingly long time ago. Before most people ever heard of the Internet. Before there were web browsers. Long before the smartphones. Back in 1986, the laboratory withstood attacks by Markus Hess, a Soviet-sponsored hacker who had successfully penetrated dozens of U.S. military computer sites. In his bestselling book, The Cuckoo’s Egg, the pioneering U.S. cyber defender, Cliff Stoll, describes how he monitored the hacker’s networks activities in the fall of 1986: “He then tried the Army’s Ballistic Research Lab’s computers in Aberdeen, Maryland. The Milnet took only a second to connect, but BRL’s passwords defeated him: he couldn’t get through” (Stoll 1989).