Getting a handle on cyberattacks

cyber attack button

The intelligence community’s advanced research organization wants to find live, real-world cyberattack data to test incursion detection techniques used by large organizations.

In a request for information posted March 4 on the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity web site, the group said it wants to find a better way to evaluate detection techniques as cyberattacks proliferate from different types of assailants and from varied geographical locations using multiple technologies.

ARPA said it is particularly interested in talking to vendors about structured databases used to document and report cyberattacks, with an eye toward minimal latency between report and the event. It also wants real-time enterprise data, such as host logs, security application logs and alerts, and help desk ticket details that cover the period of a cyber event.

The RFI said IARPA wants to get a better handle on which existing structured databases consistently document and report cyberattacks and how complete their global, regional or industry-specific reach is.

Additionally, it wants to find out what cyberattack attributes – including source and target IP ranges, time, intent, indicators of compromise, attacker attribution, victim details and magnitude -- are documented in the databases.

The agency also inquired about the possibility of partnering with a large organization with more than 5,000 users in a sponsored research program as a test bed.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a staff writer at FCW.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

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