DARPA seeks to boost cyber attribution

gloved hands

WHAT: A broad agency announcement from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency seeking technologies to improve the government’s ability to attribute a cyberattack to a source.

WHY: The U.S. government considers attribution a key element of its strategy to deter hacking by other countries.

Despite claims of progress in the area, there is still apparently room for improvement. For example, Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, has worried aloud about the ability of nation-states to hide their digital tracks behind surrogate groups.

DARPA is looking for technologies that create "operationally and tactically relevant information" about multiple concurrent cyber campaigns, the announcement states. The program also looks for a means of sharing information gleaned from attribution tools with any number of parties without exposing sources and methods.

DARPA is seeking technologies to extract biometrics from devices and algorithms for developing behavior profiles related to cyber campaigns, for example.

Current means of tracking malicious cyber campaigns, such as using file hashes, aren't good enough because they allow hackers to evade defenders by "superficially changing their tools," according to DARPA.

"Malicious actors in cyberspace currently operate with little fear of being caught due to the fact that it is extremely difficult, in some cases perhaps even impossible, to reliably and confidently attribute actions in cyberspace to individuals," the announcement states.

Click here to read the announcement.

Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Apr 26, 2016 at 12:40 PM


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