Risk
11/7/2011
01:29 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

DARPA Boosts Cybersecurity Research Spending 50%

Defense research agency calls boosting the nation's cyber offense, as well as defensive capabilities, crucial to combating modern threats.

Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, birthplace of the Internet, plans to increase its spending on cyber research 50% over the next five years, and will increasingly focus on offensive cyber capabilities as well as defensive capabilities, agency director Regina Dugan said Monday.

"Modern warfare will demand the effective use of cyber, kinetic, and combined cyber and kinetic means," Dugan said, speaking before the DARPA Cyber Colloquium, a gathering of cyber professionals. "We need more options, we need more speed, and we need more scale. We must both protect its peaceful shared use as well as prepare for hostile cyber acts that threaten our military capabilities." DARPA sought $208 million in cyber spending in fiscal 2012, up from $120 million the year before, and that's just the start of the jump in spending.

Monday's speech was the first time that Dugan has publicly discussed DARPA's offensive cyber research, according to a DARPA spokesman. While she didn't go into deep details, other military speakers also mentioned offensive capabilities in more coded terms. For example, Army Cyber Command director Lt. Gen. Rhett Hernandez called for "cyber warriors" who could "operationalize cyberspace" with a "full range of cyber capabilities," including offensive capabilities.

Dugan repeated an oft repeated line that while military and critical infrastructure networks have grown more secure in recent years, they remain easily penetrated. She called the ability to grapple with security at Internet speed and scale "one of the most intense challenges of our time," and said that DARPA and others must come up with creative solutions to the challenge.

[The U.S. is already working with its allies to boost our cyber defense skills. Read U.S., Europe Do First Joint Exercise On Cybersecurity.]

In a speech after Dugan's, U.S. Cyber Command commander Gen. Keith Alexander outlined, by way of example, the scope of the challenge, noting recent well-publicized attacks on Nasdaq, RSA, Sony, Google, and Booz Allen Hamilton. "These organizations are supposed to be the best in the market, and in my opinion, they are," he said. "But they're the ones that recognized they were attacked. Most don't."

Dugan and other speakers echoed the idea that the current approach of layering security technology upon security technology will not resolve the problem, but will only result in more complexity.

"We are losing ground because we are inherently divergent from the threat," she said, noting that while the size of viruses has remained small over the years, the defensive security apparatus continues to grow. "Such divergences are the seeds of surprise, and this [size disparity] is a striking example of why it's currently easier to play offense rather than defense in cyber. This is not to suggest that we stop doing what we are doing in cybersecurity. But if we continue only down the current path, we will not converge with the threat."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Henry Hertz Hobbit
50%
50%
Henry Hertz Hobbit,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2011 | 12:10:04 PM
re: DARPA Boosts Cybersecurity Research Spending 50%
At this point the problem is so huge no team of security analysts stands a fighting chance of even knowing where to begin. The military needs a standardized Linux distro that is infintely more stable than what is available now. Either that or create their own OS that has file ownership and usage permissions. Once they have that standardized platform and get Windows out of the mix then they will have a fighting chance of hammering the other stuff down. The way it is now, it takes just one slip and a whole building full of Windows machines can be infected. VM doesn't help you either. Even though the infection may go away when you shut your machine down it can come right back via your neighbor's infected machine when you boot back up. Usually it only takes a few hours for the third party to siphon off all the information they want anyway. I strongly recommend that DARPA shifts the vast majority of their desktop platforms first. Then they can start to work on the other problems.
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-5211
Published: 2015-01-27
Stack-based buffer overflow in the Attachmate Reflection FTP Client before 14.1.433 allows remote FTP servers to execute arbitrary code via a large PWD response.

CVE-2014-8154
Published: 2015-01-27
The Gst.MapInfo function in Vala 0.26.0 and 0.26.1 uses an incorrect buffer length declaration for the Gstreamer bindings, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via unspecified vectors, which trigger a heap-based buffer overf...

CVE-2014-9197
Published: 2015-01-27
The Schneider Electric ETG3000 FactoryCast HMI Gateway with firmware before 1.60 IR 04 stores rde.jar under the web root with insufficient access control, which allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive setup and configuration information via a direct request.

CVE-2014-9198
Published: 2015-01-27
The FTP server on the Schneider Electric ETG3000 FactoryCast HMI Gateway with firmware through 1.60 IR 04 has hardcoded credentials, which makes it easier for remote attackers to obtain access via an FTP session.

CVE-2014-9646
Published: 2015-01-27
Unquoted Windows search path vulnerability in the GoogleChromeDistribution::DoPostUninstallOperations function in installer/util/google_chrome_distribution.cc in the uninstall-survey feature in Google Chrome before 40.0.2214.91 allows local users to gain privileges via a Trojan horse program in the ...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
If you’re a security professional, you’ve probably been asked many questions about the December attack on Sony. On Jan. 21 at 1pm eastern, you can join a special, one-hour Dark Reading Radio discussion devoted to the Sony hack and the issues that may arise from it.