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Pentagon's Advanced Research Arm Tackles Cyberspace


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National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center

U.S. Department of Homeland Security analysts work at the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center located just outside Washington in Arlington, VA.

Credit: Reuters

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing the National Cyber Range, a model of the Internet that will enable researchers to test defense systems against virtual foreign and domestic-launched cyberattacks on the U.S. government. The National Cyber Range also will help the U.S. government train cyberwarriors and develop new technologies to defend information systems. A prototype test range will be launched this summer, while the actual National Cyber Range is expected to be fully operational by mid-2012.

The cyber range also will act as a series of testbeds that can carry out different drills or be combined into larger pieces. A key goal is to run classified and unclassified experiments in quick succession, "in days rather than the weeks it currently takes," says DARPA's Eric Mazzacone. DARPA also is developing the Clean-slate design of Resilient, Adaptive, Secure Hosts system, which aims to design computer systems that evolve over time, making them more difficult to attack.

Meanwhile, DARPA's Cyber Insider Threat program will help monitor military networks for threats from within. In addition, the Cyber Genome program aims to automate the discovery, identification, and characterization of malicious software.

From Reuters
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