Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Security Networking Technology

'Cybot' Development For Network Defense 51

lwbrown writes with this excerpt from Government Computer News about a concept being explored at Oak Ridge National Laboratory: "UNTAME is the product of a long-term program by the division's Cyber Security and Information Intelligence Research Group to develop futuristic security functionality for increasingly large, complex environments. The cybots differ from traditional software agents in that they form a collective and are aware of the condition and activities of other cybots in the collective. 'You give it a mission and tools to work with, such as mobility and intrusion sensors, and it uses those tools and cooperates with other cybots to accomplish the mission," said Lawrence MacIntyre, one of the project's developers.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

'Cybot' Development For Network Defense

Comments Filter:
  • Only an AI with greatest enthusiasm for the mission is fit to complete it.
  • "UNTAME became self-aware at 2:14am EDT August 29, 2017" I'm sure I'm not the only one who had something like that come to mind.
  • Say it with me: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zerth ( 26112 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @01:23AM (#26938659)

    "It isn't new just because you called it something different and put it on the network."

    • Tell me about it! I did research for the Navy almost a decade ago on exactly this (distributed, autonomous intrusion detection system) - was unclassified and funded by NIST and NSA...never went anywhere at the time though, bummer :(

    • by blhack ( 921171 )

      Wait wait wait.

      Are you trying to say that they just took snort and repackaged it with a different name and some shiny new buzzwords?

      That sort of thing *NEVER* happens in tech!

  • I wonder if they hired some virus hackers to write this thing for them. Seems a lot like the various viruses and worms that have been circulating for the last several years.

    Pretty soon half the worlds available computing power will be involved in a power struggle with the other half.

    Was this cranked into their Windows TCO calcs?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Pretty soon half the worlds available computing power will be involved in a power struggle with the other half.

      Internal conflict in the budding Skynet? Cool.

    • Actually, most botnets tend to use existing technology, like how the Storm botnet uses Overnet. This system seems like a wifi mesh network.
  • by 2muchcoffeeman ( 573484 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @02:01AM (#26938789) Journal

    The Cybots were created by man ... and they have a plan.

    • A built in kill switch would be nice. I'd say that before letting them out in the wild, you'd need to have a pretty good handle on how to detect, classify, track and kill the little buggers for when they might (a) get out of control, or (b) have been defeated and supplanted by covert hostile cybot collectives. Didn't I see something like this on an old episode of Star Trek Next Generation?
    • A man, a plan, a Cybot ... Panama?

      wait, that doesn't work!

    • by blhack ( 921171 )

      This has all happened before.

  • "Okay people, move along, there's nothing to see here!

  • The cybots have been officially recognized by the federal government as a protected minority group, and are now eligible to receive Section 8(a) contracts.

  • I thought this might just be a joke, but then I checked the calendar and noticed it isn't April yet.

    A project team member is quoted as comparing to the distributed system to the borg. To drive the point, he adds

    So far, there is little danger of the cybots getting out of control.

    Then after some nonsense about how they don't have the resources to test this in the wild, the article closes ominously

    He said there is some urgency in developing UNTAME. "We know we can do this," he said. "That means other people can do it." U.S. government officials assume that other countries are working on cyber warfare capabilities. "If we don't deploy this to defend the enterprise, someone else could turn this around and use it as an offensive weapon."

    Short on details and long on threats that if you don't fund me bad things will happen. Sound familiar?

  • Read: The Adolescence of P-1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adolescence_of_P-1 [wikipedia.org]

    Though I liked When HARLIE Was One better. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_HARLIE_Was_One [wikipedia.org]

    • Egads! "When HARLIE Was One" was in our school library, and boggled my twelve-year-old mind with its lone (for now relatively mild) sex scene. I don't remember much about the AI though, it seemed fairly generic "person-on-IRC-but-OMG-ITS-A-MASHEEN".
  • They wanna build fraking toasters? Frak that shit, fraking lunatics.
    • As long as they still come in a blonde, 7 foot tall edition, then i welcome our new cylon overlords.
  • It would make a competent system administrator's job harder, by screwing with things that shouldn't be messed without their knowledge, and possibly cause problems that are very difficult to correct. While an incompetent system administrator will use the tool as one more way to ignore their job.
  • That is the sound...of your doom.

    Agent Smith, The Matrix

  • This guy smoked too much crack while watching too much Star Trek. He appears to lack an understanding of network and computer security and for some reason is calling software "a robot". Sounds pretty skutz to me.

    • Services, daemons, agents, objects; we human's seem to need metaphors to wrap our tiny brains around abstractions and deal with complexity. I have no problem with "cybot collectives," but would probably participate in a contest to make up cooler names, like "Piranhaborgs"...
  • ...became self-aware at 2:14am EDT February 30, 2009.

    Now we just wait for the bombs

  • 'You give it a mission and tools to work with, such as mobility and intrusion sensors, and it uses those tools and cooperates with other cybots to accomplish the mission"

    Sounds like something to be targeted by a penetration tester. Imagine being able to deploy an army of software robots intelligent enough to cooperate with one another to inflitrate and hack the largest networks.
    • Not a new idea. It has been floating around in SciFi at least since the Cyberpunk [wikipedia.org] movement began in 1983 with a short stroy of the same name. The idea was more recently featured in the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex [wikipedia.org] series (especially in 2nd gig [wikipedia.org]) with the Tachikoma AIs extensively assisting the protaganists in their hacking, network penetration, and intelligence gathering activities.
  • "they form a collective and are aware of the condition and activities of other cybots in the collective"

    Sounds like a swarm of Agents with persistence. Cybots?? really now.
  • And we will all just watch as SkyNet, The Matrix and Cylons duke it out for human enslavement and/or annihilation rights.

  • It crashed Google when it tried to search for 'Sarah Connor'

  • WOMAN: I didn't know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous
        DENNIS: You're fooling yourself. We're living in a dictatorship.
                A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes--

  • It's all one liners until someone puts an eye out.

    This seems to relate quite similarly.

    The quest for ring 0:

    http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/402 [securityfocus.com]

    http://www.securityfocus.com/comments/columns/402/33600#33600 [securityfocus.com]

    (^replaces a broken link^)

    http://www.mackido.com/EasterEggs/CD-System70.html [mackido.com]

    Researchers: Rootkits headed for BIOS:
    (comments especially)

    http://www.securityfocus.com/news/11372 [securityfocus.com]

    http://www.securityfocus.com/comments/articles/11372/33017/threaded#33017 [securityfocus.com]

    http://www.securityfocus.com/comments/articles/11372/ [securityfocus.com]

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"