ESnet Bids Farewell to Greg Bell
By Linda Vu
Yesterday, the Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences staff held a farewell party for Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) Director Greg Bell. At the end of this month, Bell will be leaving ESnet and Berkeley Lab to be the full-time CEO of Broala, a company that deploys the Bro network monitoring software first developed at the lab.
Leaving the lab to work with a network security organization closes the loop for Bell, who started at the lab 15 years ago with LBLnet. On Jan. 24, 2003, he was spending the evening studying for a certification test when he decided to check his email around 9:50 p.m. just minutes after the SQL Slammer worm began its attack across the Internet. When he couldn’t connect over his DSL line, he became concerned and then dialed into the remote access server. That connection worked, so Bell decided to investigate the problem with the Internet link. He saw a massive attack was underway, diagnosed the problem and blocked the appropriate port. Thanks to Bell’s fast action, only 10 lab systems were infected and he isolated them so they wouldn’t spread the worm. Elsewhere, the worm slammed an estimated 247,000 systems, including banks, ATMs and financial firms.
Bell joined ESnet as chief information strategist in April 2010 and was named ESnet director in June 2013.
As a parting gift to ESnet, Bell and Brooklin Gore, Lead for ESnet's Infrastructure, Identity & Collaboration Group, created an "OSCARS" tribute at ESnet's headquarters in Berkeley Lab's Shyh Wang Hall. One OSCARS refers to ESnet's On-Demand Secure Circuits and Advance Reservation System, a software service that creates dedicated bandwidth channels for scientists who need to move massive, time-critical data sets around the world. Developed by ESnet engineers at Berkeley Lab, the software won an R&D100 award in 2013. The other Oscar's refers to the iconic Shattuck Avenue restaurant that has primarily been a burgers and fries destination for UC Berkeley students for 65 years. When the restaurant closed last year, Bell and Gore purchased the sign for the ESnet offices.