The Raytheon Company team participating in the Defense Advance Research Project Agency’s Cyber Grand Challenge has advanced to the next round of competition to identify the computer security experts who are best at developing new automated cybersecurity systems. DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge is a first-of-its-kind tournament that speeds the development of automated security systems able to defend against cyberattacks as fast as they are launched. The qualifying competition, which began with over 28 academic and industry teams from around the world, has been narrowed down to seven finalists.
"The emergence of the Internet of Things and the growth of cloud computing and mobility is transforming everyday life and creating significantly more surface attack area for the cyber threat," said David Wajsgras, president of Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business. "Raytheon is participating in DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge because we see the imperative today, to more effectively offset the growing pervasiveness and effectiveness of the cyber threat and help solve one of our country’s toughest security challenges."
The goal of DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge is to address the inadequacy of current network security systems, which require expert programmers to identify and repair system weaknesses. To help accelerate this transition, DARPA launched the Cyber Grand Challenge as a computer security tournament built around the use of automated Cyber Reasoning Systems in place of experts. The Challenge uses a "capture the flag" competition format that requires competitors to create a computer program that autonomously reverse engineers software created by the contest’s organizers, and then find and fix its hidden weaknesses.
"The Raytheon team is helping to usher in an exciting era for our customers as we develop computer programs that can self-diagnose and automatically fix vulnerabilities," said Jack Harrington, vice president of cybersecurity and special missions at Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. "The technologies emerging from this competition could change the balance of power between hackers and defenders."
Most competitors, including Raytheon, have entered on the "open track" available to self-funded teams. The final challenge competition will be held in 2016 in conjunction with DEFCON, one of the largest computer security conferences in the world held each year in Las Vegas.