Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Formal Methods (Software)

Mathematical techniques for verification of hardware and software systems

Showing 8 results for Formal RSS
12/04/2013
Ever more sophisticated cyber attacks exploit software vulnerabilities in the Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) IT systems and applications upon which military, government and commercial organizations rely. The most rigorous way to thwart these attacks is formal verification, an analysis process that helps ensure that software is free from exploitable flaws and vulnerabilities. Traditional formal methods, however, require specially trained engineers to manually scour software—a process that up to now has been too slow and costly to apply beyond small software components.
| Cyber | Formal | Trust |
To be effective, Department of Defense (DoD) cybersecurity solutions require rapid development times. The shelf life of systems and capabilities is sometimes measured in days. Thus, to a greater degree than in other areas of defense, cybersecurity solutions require that DoD develops the ability to build quickly, at scale and over a broad range of capabilities.
Unreliable software places huge costs on both the military and the civilian economy. Currently, most Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) software contains about one to five bugs per thousand lines of code. Formal verification of software provides the most confidence that a given piece of software is free of errors that could disrupt military and government operations. Unfortunately, traditional formal verification methods do not scale to the size of software found in modern computer systems. Formal verification also currently requires highly specialized engineers with deep knowledge of software technology and mathematical theorem-proving techniques.
| Cyber | Formal | Trust |
Embedded computing systems are ubiquitous in critical infrastructure, vehicles, smart devices, and military systems. Conventional wisdom once held that cyberattacks against embedded systems were not a concern since they seldom had traditional networking connections on which an attack could occur. However, attackers have learned to bridge air gaps that surround the most sensitive embedded systems, and network connectivity is now being extended to even the most remote of embedded systems.
| Cyber | Formal | Trust |
Embedded systems form a ubiquitous, networked, computing substrate that underlies much of modern technological society. Such systems range from large supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems that manage physical infrastructure to medical devices such as pacemakers and insulin pumps, to computer peripherals such as printers and routers, to communication devices such as cell phones and radios, to vehicles such as airplanes and satellites. Such devices have been networked for a variety of reasons, including the ability to conveniently access diagnostic information, perform software updates, provide innovative features, lower costs, and improve ease of use.
| Cyber | Formal | Trust |