Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Automation Technologies

Automatic mechanical or digital operation

Showing 15 results for Automation + Countermeasures RSS
Norman A. Whitaker is a Microsoft distinguished scientist and managing director of Microsoft Research Special Projects. As head of that group, he provides a structure for projects with focused objectives aimed at altering and expanding what people imagine is possible with technology.
The 21st century has brought with it the ever more urgent need for automated, scalable, machine-speed vulnerability detection and patching as more and more systems—from household appliances to major military platforms—get connected to, and become dependent upon, the internet. Finding and countering bugs, hacks, and other cyber infection threats have effectively been artisanal: professional bug hunters, security coders, and other security pros work endless hours, searching millions of lines of code to find and fix vulnerabilities that those with ulterior motives can exploit. This is a sluggish process that can no longer can keep pace with the relentless stream of threats.
What if computers had a “check engine” light that could indicate new, novel security problems? What if computers could go one step further and heal security problems before they happen?
Computer security experts from academia, industry and the larger security community have organized themselves into more than 30 teams to compete in DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge—a first-of-its-kind tournament designed to speed the development of automated security systems able to defend against cyberattacks as fast as they are launched. DARPA also announced today that it has reached an agreement to hold the 2016 Cyber Grand Challenge final competition in conjunction with DEF CON, one of the largest computer security conferences in the world.
The Heartbleed security bug existed in many of the world’s computer systems for nearly two-and-a-half years before it was discovered and a fix circulated in the spring of 2014, by which time it had rendered an estimated half a million of the internet’s secure servers vulnerable to theft and other mischief. And while Heartbleed was in some respects an outlier, long-lived critical flaws in widely deployed bedrock internet infrastructure are not rare.