Revealed at the Black Hat security conference by the program manager of DARPA for the data modernization office Peiter Zatko, a one-time hacker known as Mudge, the plan is to fund between 20 and 100 projects each year.
Considerably, DARPA’s promising to cut red tape and act quickly, choosing whether or not to endorse a project in ten days of receipt. Contracts will be rewarded on a fixed-price basis; there is no word concerning how much is to be spent into the program overall.
This Cyber Fast Track program is open to anybody. Zatko said, “It’s time to start funding hacker spaces, labs, and boutique security companies to make it easier to compete with large government contractors.”
“The way government is set up, it’s almost impossible for the small businesses, the researchers, the hackers, to get money for research without giving up intellectual property or being purchased and having their company gutted.”
Whatever that can help the military will be measured, from bug-hunting exercises to the improvement of inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicles. DARPA needs projects that could be brought out shortly in 12 months.
DARPA says, “Of particular interest are efforts with the potential to reduce attack surface areas, reverse current asymmetries, or that are strategic, rather than tactical in nature.”
“Proposed technologies may be hardware, software, or any combination thereof. Efforts developing proofs of concept or finished products are also of particular interest.”