DARPA seeks ideas on cyber vulnerabilities and recoveries

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WHAT: The Innovation Information Office (I2O) at DARPA is interested in research on near-term cybersecurity threats and new resiliency strategies.

WHY: Cyber criminals enjoy a target rich environment (pun intended), but the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is hoping to make that a little less true. Two recent solicitations from DARPA invite researchers to peer into the future, to look at what defense and resiliency will look like when strong defensive measures are able to thwart most known attack methods, and adversaries look to exploit a new class of vulnerabilities. The first, a $53 million solicitation dubbed Space/Time Analysis for Cybersecurity (STAC), looks at the possibility of adversaries probing what they call "algorithmic resource usage vulnerabilities," essentially weaknesses in algorithms that allow a smart and determined opponent to discover vulnerabilities for attack – either to disrupt and overwhelm a system or snoop on unintended data leaks. Monitoring these kinds of weaknesses is highly complex and resource intensive. DARPA is looking for automated solutions that allow for human analysts to review millions of lines of code per hour.

DARPA is also looking to shore up existing military systems with a $52 million solicitation for Cyber Fault-Tolerant Attack Recovery (CFAR). Pointing out that military systems can fall prey to long-standing, undetected security flaws, DARPA wants ideas on methods for making the work of adversaries more difficult by creating " revolutionary breakthroughs in defensive cyber techniques that can be deployed to protect existing and planned software systems in both military and civilian contexts without requiring changes to the concept of operations of these systems," per the solicitation.

Click here for more on STAC. Click here to read the CFAR solicitation.

Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Oct 01, 2014 at 8:38 AM


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