Risk
4/26/2013
08:54 AM
50%
50%

DARPA: New Threats Demand New Technologies

Agency shifts focus to layered capabilities and cyber as a tactical weapon, as budget constraints and new threats affect plans.

14 Amazing DARPA Technologies On Tap
14 Amazing DARPA Technologies On Tap
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is adjusting its approach to the development of new defense technologies to reflect the fiscal realities facing federal agencies and evolving nature of national threats.

"Our mission is unchanged -- to prevent and create technological surprise," DARPA director Arati Prabhakar said at a Pentagon briefing in which she presented a new framework for the agency's research and development. However, she added, "it's going to be a very challenging environment for an extended period of time."

The agency's primary strategic objectives are to demonstrate "breakthrough capabilities" for national security, help drive a highly capable U.S. technology base and ensure that DARPA itself delivers on its mission.

[ Perhaps teenagers can develop some of the new technologies that DARPA needs. Read Future Scientists Showcase Inventions At White House. ]

Three factors are driving that mission, according to Prabhakar. One is the emergence of new threats. Rather than addressing risks posed by adversarial countries alone, the military must be prepared to deal with criminal enterprises, terrorist organizations and ill-intentioned individuals, all of which have access to new kinds of weapons, including cyber threats.

A second factor is the rapid pace of technological change, especially in the area of components for military systems. Many tech components are no longer manufactured in the U.S., introducing an added element of risk to the military's systems and networks, Prabhakar said.

The third factor is financial. Sequestration has cut $202 million from DARPA's fiscal 2013 budget of $2.9 billion, resulting in furloughs of employees and an 8% budget cut across programs. Prabhakar cautioned that DARPA's ability to invest in R&D may not return to business as usual.

"There's a critical shift in how society allocates resources to national security," she said. "I'm not talking about sequestration. I'm really talking about fiscal pressures that could shape a different future."

To deal with the complexities of modern warfare, DARPA seeks to develop integrated and layered systems that can continue to give the military a decisive edge. Examples of technologies that could increase in potency when used in this way include "adaptive electronic warfare," manned and unmanned systems, tactical cyber capabilities, and advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

"Modern warfare may be too complex for a single new capability to deliver sustained superiority across a variety of scenarios," according to the document, titled "Driving Technological Surprise: DARPA's Mission In A Changing World."

The agency's investment strategy is to use advanced, commercially available technologies where possible while encouraging new development at universities, government labs and private sector companies, as well as through its own programs.

Cyber is an area of increased focus. "We all view cyber as a critical threat to our military, and national security more broadly," Prabhakar said. "It's a tool that can be part of our military suite of capabilities."

DARPA's so-called Plan X program is aimed at developing capabilities that will give the U.S. military an advantage in cyber warfare, but there will be no single weapon or capability that does that, Prabhakar said.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Regor Elom
50%
50%
Regor Elom,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/26/2013 | 2:52:25 PM
re: DARPA: New Threats Demand New Technologies
They need to get politicians out of the planning stages and be free to get their jobs done.
VINAY
50%
50%
VINAY,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/26/2013 | 4:01:06 PM
re: DARPA: New Threats Demand New Technologies
FREEDOM TIBET ...
Ron Helton
50%
50%
Ron Helton,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/26/2013 | 8:20:04 PM
re: DARPA: New Threats Demand New Technologies
Welcome to George Orwell's 1984.
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-7896
Published: 2015-03-03
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in HP XP P9000 Command View Advanced Edition Software Online Help, as used in HP Device Manager 6.x through 8.x before 8.1.2-00, HP XP P9000 Tiered Storage Manager 6.x through 8.x before 8.1.2-00, HP XP P9000 Replication Manager 6.x and 7.x before ...

CVE-2014-9283
Published: 2015-03-03
The BestWebSoft Captcha plugin before 4.0.7 for WordPress allows remote attackers to bypass the CAPTCHA protection mechanism and obtain administrative access via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-9683
Published: 2015-03-03
Off-by-one error in the ecryptfs_decode_from_filename function in fs/ecryptfs/crypto.c in the eCryptfs subsystem in the Linux kernel before 3.18.2 allows local users to cause a denial of service (buffer overflow and system crash) or possibly gain privileges via a crafted filename.

CVE-2015-0656
Published: 2015-03-03
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the login page in Cisco Network Analysis Module (NAM) allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors, aka Bug ID CSCum81269.

CVE-2015-0890
Published: 2015-03-03
The BestWebSoft Google Captcha (aka reCAPTCHA) plugin before 1.13 for WordPress allows remote attackers to bypass the CAPTCHA protection mechanism and obtain administrative access via unspecified vectors.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.