Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List


Relating to digital systems and information

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DARPA officials this morning released partial final, audited results of yesterday’s all-day Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC) Final Event—the world’s first all-machine cyber hacking tournament—and confirmed that the top-scoring machine was Mayhem, developed by team ForAllSecure of Pittsburgh.
Military and civilian technological systems, from fighter aircraft to networked household appliances, are becoming ever more dependent upon software systems inherently vulnerable to electronic intruders. To meet its mission of preventing technological surprise and increasing national security, DARPA has advanced a number of technologies to make software more secure. But what if hardware could be recruited to do a bigger share of that work? That’s the question DARPA’s new System Security Integrated Through Hardware and Firmware (SSITH) program aims to answer.
Building on recent breakthroughs in autonomous cyber systems and formal methods, DARPA today announced a new research program called Assured Autonomy that aims to advance the ways computing systems can learn and evolve to better manage variations in the environment and enhance the predictability of autonomous systems like driverless vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The rise of network-connected systems that are becoming embedded seemingly everywhere–from industrial control systems to aircraft avionics–is opening up a host of rich technical capabilities in deployed systems. Even so, as the collective technology project underlying this massive deployment of connectivity unfolds, more consumer, industrial, and military players are turning to inexpensive, commodity off-the-shelf (COTS) devices with general-purpose designs applicable for a range of functionalities and deployment options. While less costly and more flexible, commodity components are inherently less secure than the single-purpose, custom devices they are replacing.
Today, Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), Government off-the-shelf (GOTS), and Free and open-source (FOSS) software support nearly all aspects of DoD, military, and commercial operations. Securing this diverse technology base requires highly skilled hackers who reason about the functionality of software and identify novel vulnerabilities, using a suite of tools and techniques that require extensive training. While effective, the process is largely manual and requires hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of effort for each vulnerability discovered.