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DARPA Drone Cybersecurity Software Foils Hackers in Demo


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The U.S. Air Force's HACMS high assurance software controlling a flight-disabed drone.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is so confident in the hack-proof software it developed for a remote-controlled quadcopter that it invited hackers at the recent DEF CON cybersecurity convention to try to hack in and take it over. (None succeeded).

Credit: DARPA

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) invited hackers at the recent DEF CON cybersecurity convention to attempt to compromise and commandeer software for a remote-controlled quadcopter drone.

DARPA's Ray Richards said all tries to hack the High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems (HACMS) failed.

HACMS software uses a technique called formal methods to mathematically guarantee the absence of bugs that let hackers infiltrate computer systems.

The HACMS software architecture rigidly partitioned the different functions of the mission control system, ensuring that while the system's video camera software could be compromised, command and control functions could not.

Said Richards, "The ever-increasing focus on cybersecurity will increase the demand for large-scale application of formal methods."

From Air Force Magazine
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