Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Threat Countermeasures

Actions that mitigate adversaries' capabilities

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An emergent type of geopolitical warfare in recent years has been coined "gray zone competition," or simply "competition," because it sits in a nebulous area between peace and conventional conflict. It’s not openly declared or defined, it’s slower and is prosecuted more subtly using social, psychological, religious, information, cyber and other means to achieve physical or cognitive objectives with or without violence. The lack of clarity of intent in competition activity makes it challenging to detect, characterize, and counter an enemy fighting this way.
Defense forces rely on electromagnetic dominance for command, control, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and related applications that use the electromagnetic spectrum. Similarly, spectrum use by our adversaries, coupled with extensive commercial use, yields an increasingly congested space, time and frequency environment.
The Department of Defense (DoD) maintains information systems that depend on Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software, Government off-the-shelf (GOTS) software, and Free and open source (FOSS) software. Securing this diverse technology base requires highly skilled hackers who reason about the functionality of software and identify novel vulnerabilities.
Based on promising results obtained under the Crosshairs program, the C-Sniper program will develop the capability to detect and neutralize enemy snipers before they can engage U.S. Forces, with the goal of delivering a field testable prototype suitable for experimentation as an integrated part of the DARPA Crosshairs system. The C-Sniper system will operate day and night from a moving military vehicle and provide the operator with sufficient information to make a timely engagement decision.
The rapid pace of innovation in software and hardware over the past three decades has produced computational systems that, despite security improvements, remain stubbornly vulnerable to attack. Although clean-sheet design can produce fundamental security improvements that gradually diffuse into the installed base, this process can take years.