A team of Raytheon employees have advanced to the finals of a US Defense Advance Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) competition aimed at developing self-healing cyber technologies.
Dubbed Cyber Grand Challenge, the competition seeks to accelerate the development of automated security systems that can defend against cyberattacks as soon as they are launched.
Raytheon intelligence, information and services business president David Wajsgras said: "The emergence of the internet of things (IoT) and the growth of cloud computing and mobility is transforming everyday life and creating significantly more surface attack area for the cyber threat.
"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 challenge focuses on addressing the inadequacy of existing network security systems, which require expert programmers to identify and repair system weaknesses.
Launched as a computer security tournament built around the use of automated cyber reasoning systems in place of experts, the challenge requires competitors to create a computer programme that autonomously reverse engineers software created by the contest’s organisers, and then find and fix its hidden weaknesses.
Raytheon intelligence, information and services cybersecurity and special missions vice-president Jack Harrington said: "The technologies emerging from this competition could change the balance of power between hackers and defenders."
After starting with more than 28 academic and industry teams from across the globe, the qualifying competition has now been narrowed down to seven finalists. Most competitors, including Raytheon, have entered on the ‘open track’ available to self-funded teams.
The final challenge competition is scheduled to be held conjunction with DEFCON, one of the largest computer security conferences in the world held annually in Las Vegas, US, in 2016.