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Programming Security The Military IT

DARPA Commits To Funding Useful Hacking Projects 44

Hugh Pickens writes "Fahmida Y. Rashid reports that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will fund new cyber-security proposals under the new Cyber-Fast Track project intended to cut red tape for hackers to apply for funding for projects that would help the Defense Department secure computer networks, says Peiter Zatko, a hacker known as Mudge who was one of the seven L0pht members who testified before a Senate committee in 1998 that they could bring down the Internet in 30 minutes and is now a program manager for the agency's information innovation office. Anything that could help the military will be considered, including bug-hunting exercises, commodity high-end computing and open software tools and projects with the potential to 'reduce attack surface areas, reverse current asymmetries' are of particular interest. Under the Cyber-Fast Track initiative, DARPA will fund between 20 to 100 projects annually. Open to anybody, researchers can pitch DARPA with ideas and have a project approved and funded within 14 days of the application."
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DARPA Commits To Funding Useful Hacking Projects

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  • Honey Pot? (Score:2, Offtopic)

    Could this be a giant honey pot?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    For the cost of a few cruise missiles humanity will be left with something of value from the defense budget.

    Hopefully this becomes a superfund for cleaning up vulnerabilities by the best and the brightest. With all the money wasted every year we should not agonize over tiny sums being expedited to people who will catch the bugs and disclose to the public.

    The cybercrime gangs are well funded. The bughunters are not.

    Prevention is much cheaper and much more friendly towards civil liberties than is having a cyb

  • by sp332 ( 781207 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @09:00AM (#37013590)

    If you recall,there was a campaign to make Mudge the USA cyber-czar back when Obama created that post. The guy knows what he's doing, and even now that he's in big-government stuff, the community still trusts him.

  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @09:23AM (#37013682) Homepage Journal

    The military/intel is totally protected from our debt crisis, no matter how distantly related to protecting us any of its expenses might be. That's why the majority of our debt is owed for past military/intel budgets - so it costs 50% more in interest than what was appropriated on paper. And now that the debt has gotten our credit rating downgraded, it will cost us even more in interest - along with all our borrowing that it's dragged along with it.

    So the smart people will turn all their projects into military/intel projects. Which will gradually turn the US into not just a hopeless debtor, but an exclusively warmongering hopeless debtor.

    • Very true. I know the company I work for loves these programs, there is no risk since it is guaranteed money if you win the contracts. It also diverts engineering resources into supporting these programs.
    • This is why the citizens of any democracy should be on guard, demanding answers from their representatives about spending etc. to ensure that such things do not happen. This is indirect war profiteering in it's finest form.
      • Like "why are we invading Iraq when it had nothing to do with the 9/11/2001 attacks"?

        Those of us who did ask that question were drowned out by the majority of voters who insisted on re-electing Bush/Cheney instead of impeaching and imprisoning them.

  • Just make sure the funding check clears. It is issued by the US government after all and their credit isn't as good as it once was.
  • But what is DARPA, or anyone else for that matter, about making sure chips made in china don't have bugs built in?

    I /refuse/ to purchase an item that is known to me to have chips made in china because I believe it to be compromised.

    How can one be sure that the hardware in the devices made there are not bugged?

  • But can non-Americans apply ? You know, this category of persons that form 85% of Internet.
  • http://sourceforge.net/projects/pointrel/ [sourceforge.net]

    At least I could spin it that way... :-)

    And have:
    "The need for FOSS intelligence tools for sensemaking etc."
    http://groups.google.com/group/openmanufacturing/msg/2846ca1b6bee64e1 [google.com]

    Where do I apply? :-)

  • I'm going to seek a $20k grant to advise police agencies against having their website developed by BJM marketing.

    In case you are wondering what the hell I'm talking about: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9218961/AntiSec_hackers_dump_data_after_hacking_police_websites [computerworld.com]

  • From the reuters article: "Addressing a key issue for hackers doing government projects, they will be allowed to keep the commercial intellectual property rights while giving the Defense Department use of the project."

  • I skimmed through the solicitation. It has people paid on achieving milestones they set out in advance (and they say ideally for two month or four month working time frames). Essentially, they are insisting on a waterfall development model. That makes difficult any basic research and general creativity in exploring topic areas. I guess someone could get around that a bit by promising a report or something, but that is probably not what they are looking for.

    In general it is a rule of thumb in some projects b

  • Sarge, is this going to be a stand up fight, or just another bug-hunt?
  • Open Protocols for Social Media would be very helpful..

    Think along the lines of Diaspora and Google+ but within a military context, where each command/outfit, etc. needs to own it's own data, various aspects of data needs to shared (nor not shared) based on a firm but flexible set of permissions and you have a fairly ideal way of allowing modern war fighting use social tools; all of those still on secure networks but having a wide range of secure sharing. This could include pushing data out to non secure ne

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun