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Corelight Co-founder Dr. Vern Paxson Receives Prominent USENIX Security Test of Time Award

Paxson’s 1998 paper “Bro: A System for Detecting Network Intruders in Real-Time” honored for its profound impact on the field of security and privacy

San Francisco, Calif.—Aug. 11, 2022—Corelight, the leader in open network detection and response (NDR), today announced company co-founder, and creator of Zeek®, Dr. Vern Paxson has received the distinguished USENIX “Test of Time” award for his work entitled “Bro: A System for Detecting Network Intruders in Real-Time published in 1998. The paper marked the official launch of open source technology Bro (now known as Zeek), which has since become the de-facto standard for network security monitoring and network visibility.

“Dr. Paxson’s work in creating Bro marked a turning point in how organizations could get a handle on, and gain better access to, the traffic that was coming into their networks at a time when the Internet was still in its infancy,” said Dr. Kevin Fu, associate professor of EECS at the University of Michigan and USENIX steering committee member. “The committee felt strongly that this paper should stand as a ‘must read’ classic paper for any graduate computer security course.”

The USENIX “Test of Time” award is intended to recognize papers that have had a lasting impact on their respective fields and that were presented at its respective conference at least 10 years ago.

“In the late 1990s, effective ways to monitor and analyze traffic over the Internet were virtually nonexistent. That left sites unable to distinguish malicious traffic from harmless traffic,” said Paxson, who pursued the further development of Zeek for many years at the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI). “Bro/Zeek was designed as a means of identifying possible intrusions on a network right as they were happening, by analyzing in detail the traffic flying by on high-speed network links. By open sourcing the code, the hope was that it would both benefit the community and in turn benefit from community efforts to enhance it.

“More than 20 years later it is a thrill to see how not only how expansive the Bro/ Zeek, community has grown, but also to see how the thousands of contributions to it over the years have made it one of the most powerful and reliable network security offerings today,” he continued. “I have long had roots in the USENIX community, so I’m particularly honored to receive this recognition.” 

USENIX “Test of Time” award recipients received recognition at the 31st USENIX Security Symposium. The USENIX Security Symposium brings together researchers, practitioners, system administrators, system programmers, and others interested in the latest advances in the security and privacy of computer systems and networks.


Since 1975, USENIX has brought together the community of engineers, system administrators, SREs, researchers, and technicians working on the cutting edge of the computing world. USENIX conferences have become the essential meeting grounds for the presentation and discussion of the most advanced information on the development of all aspects of computing systems. For more information, visit

About Corelight

Corelight provides security teams with network evidence so they can protect the world’s most critical organizations and companies. Corelight’s global customers include Fortune 500 companies, major government agencies, and large research universities. Based in San Francisco, Corelight is an open-core security company founded by the creators of Zeek®, the widely-used network security technology. For more information, visit or follow @corelight_inc.

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