Researchers from the US, Bulgaria and Ukraine have teamed up to work on a science and technology research project to help combat cyberattacks.

The research team comprises scientists from the Bulgarian Defense Institute, the Chernihiv National University of Technology in Ukraine, the National Technical University of Ukraine, and the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL).

Nato Science for Peace and Security Program will fund the participation of Bulgarian and Ukrainian institutions in the three-year project.

The Cyber Rapid Analysis for Defense Awareness of Real-Time Situation project will focus on the development of theoretical foundations, methods, and approaches towards software tools for situational awareness. These resources will allow the nation’s defence forces to monitor cyberspace.

Defence forces will be able to detect malicious information injections in cyberspace and warn about an information attack.

“Defence forces will be able to detect malicious information injections in the cyberspace and warn about an information attack.”

ARL chief scientist Dr Alexander Kott said: “Information attacks have emerged as a major concern of societies worldwide. They come under different names and in different flavours: fake news, disinformation, political astroturfing, influence operations, etc.

“And they may arrive as a component of hybrid warfare: in combination with traditional cyber-attacks (use of malware), and with conventional military action or covert physical attacks. A particularly poignant example of a victim of such attacks has been Ukraine.”

ARL scientists will provide published research results such as theories and algorithms that explain and predict the propagation of opinions and trust within a network, find untrustworthy sources within cyberspace and detect false news.

Research will be carried out at all four institutions in a virtual, distributed networked laboratory. This will be created as part of the project.