DOD information security aims to boost embedded computing cyber defense against computer hackers

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio–The Pentagon’s Defense Research & Engineering section is continuing an initiative to plug holes in U.S. military cyber defense by concealing the installation and deployment of information security measures–a notable vulnerability to enemy computer hackers.

Nov 1st, 2009

By John Keller

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio–The Pentagon’s Defense Research & Engineering section is continuing an initiative to plug holes in U.S. military cyber defense by concealing the installation and deployment of information security measures–a notable vulnerability to enemy computer hackers.

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is awarding a $750,000 Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract to GrammaTech Inc. in Ithaca, N.Y., for a data security program called Covert Loading and Execution of Software Protections to Reduce Adversarial Detection.

Several software defenses exist for cyber security that are intended to frustrate enemy hacker attempts to examine or tamper with protected military software applications in embedded computing, GrammaTech officials explain.

Still, software attackers are unlikely to approach the defenses head-on, GrammaTech officials say.

One weak point is during installation and deployment of defenses. Without special military information security measures in place, hackers can watch as information defenses are set up, and learn how they can defeat military cyber security measures.

The Air Force is awarding this SBIR contract to GrammaTech on behalf of the U.S. Office of The Secretary of Defense’s (OSD) deputy director of defense research and engineering, who reports to the Pentagon’s deputy under secretary of defense for science and technology.

GrammaTech data security experts are pursuing a technique that protects the loading phase of sensitive software applications. The company’s new security technique is designed not only to deny hackers access to the system, but also to separate sensitive software from the operating system to prevent attack before information security measures have been put in place.

GrammaTech’s software-development tools, including static-analysis and program-transformation solutions, are used worldwide. For additional information, visit GrammaTech online at www.grammatech.com.

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