DARPA to brief industry Feb. 21 on vetronics embedded computing cyber security project

ARLINGTON, Va., 8 Feb. 2012. Computer scientists at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., are kicking off the agency's High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems (HACMS) program to safeguard civil and military embedded systems from hackers, computer viruses, and other cyber malware with an industry briefing 21 Feb. 2012 at the Capital Conference Center in Arlington, Va. The HACMS proposer's day is unclassified and voluntary, DARPA officials say.

The HACMS military cyber security program aims to develop a set of publicly available tools to help build embedded computing for high-assurance military vehicles with onboard networked military embedded systems that are able to resist efforts by hackers to attack and damage vetronics computers remotely while hiding the effects from monitors.

Although the HACMS program initially aims at embedded computing systems on military vehicles, DARPA officials say the tools and techniques the program develops may be applicable to other kinds of embedded systems.

The HACMS program aims to integrate publicly available tools into a high-assurance software workbench, which will be widely distributed to commercial and defense software developers. HACMS will use these tools to generate an open-source, high-assurance operating system and control system, and then use these components to build high-assurance military vehicles that are invulnerable to hacker attack.

Developing this kind of cyber security technology for military vehicles will require a fundamentally different approach from what the software community has done so far, DARPA officials explain. HACMS seeks to enable semi-automated code synthesis from executable, formal specifications, as well as produce machine-checkable proof that the code is secure.

HACMS has five parts: synthesizer, formal specifications, verified libraries, proven code, and diagnostic information. Key HACMS technologies will include interactive software synthesis systems, verification tools such as theorem provers and model checkers, and specification languages.

The HACMS proposers day will brief industry on the program and discuss potential capabilities among potential participants. Briefings will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. eastern time on 21 Feb. 2012 at the Capital Conference Center, 3601 Wilson Blvd., Suite 600, in Arlington, Va.

Those interested in attending should register online by 16 Feb. 2012 online at www.solers.com/BAAinfo-reg/hacms. Those attending must present government-issued photo identification. Only two members from each organization may physically attend, and attendance is limited to 140 registrants.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/DARPA/CMO/DARPA-SN-12-26/listing.html.

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