A Quick Guide to Farsight's Grant Program
By Kelly Molloy
What is the Farsight Security grant program?
We are committed to making the Internet a better, safer place. Since our founding in 2013, Farsight Security has offered six to twelve month research grants to use our tools to protect the Internet.
Why do we do it?
It is part of Farsight’s (and Farsighters’) DNA to use data to fight less than desirable actors on the Internet, and to help others do so as well. We have been entrusted with passive DNS data from organizations across the Internet, so we believe it is our privilege and responsibility to share that data with vetted individuals and organizations working to keep the Internet safe. We are also well aware that depending on your organization, it can take time and concrete results in order to justify a request for funding.
Who is eligible?
We ask that grant recipients be engaged in academic research, working for a law enforcement organization, or working for a non-profit organization that is primarily tasked with protecting Internet resources and/or users. We may be able to work with you if your organization or project only partially meets these requirements, especially if you have significant DNS traffic and are willing to contribute data via our sensor program.
Who is NOT eligible?
If your work only benefits your own organization, or is used for for-profit uses, then we are not able to offer you grant access. If you’re making money from the work you’re doing, we may still be able to offer you a discount in return for operating a sensor on your network.
What kind of access is available?
If your grant proposal may benefit from it, we can give you access to a wide variety of Farsight data, including DNSDB, Newly Observed Domains (NOD) and Hostnames, DNS Changes, DNS Errors, and Brand and Domain Sentry. We can also run a single retrospective query for you and share the results.
What do we ask in return?
If your organization is able to help, we ask that you contribute by becoming a passive DNS sensor operator and contributing passive DNS data. We are happy to answer your questions about running a sensor and provide whatever technical assistance you might need. We also ask that you share the results of your research with us, once it’s complete. We may link it from our Research page.
Is there paperwork? What does Farsight need to know before issuing a grant?
Farsight needs to know who you are (legal name and physical address); what kind of research you want to undertake, including a detailed proposal; where you will be conducting this research; and what kind of data and how many queries you believe you will need to answer your question.
If you’re an academic, please give us contact information for your academic advisor. If you are a member of the security community, please provide references who will vouch for you. In either case, if you can send us links to prior publications, your website, or media coverage of your work, that is very helpful. If you know any Farsighters, past or present, please let us know that as well.
If everything looks good, we'll generate a simple contract that we'll ask you to sign, and after we receive your signed contract we will issue you credentials within a few business days. To request a grant, visit here.
Kelly Molloy is Grant Program Administrator with Farsight Security, Inc.