Plan X: Darpa's Cyberwar

DARPA will hold a conference for security professionals to discuss how to go about defending the US Internet infrastructure from attack.

DARPA, if you didn't know, stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. They're the governmental organization that develops ridiculous things like flying tanks and other science fiction. Next month, however, DARPA is hitting closer to home with "Plan X", a one-day workshop designed to flesh out the US government's strategy for war in cyberspace.

Plan X is a two-pronged affair that consists of a general-access session for your standard contractors and government employees and a secret session to map out where the US is going in the future of cyber warfare.

What will it deal with, specifically? The event won't get into research and development of cyberweapons or vulnerability analysis. It's geared towards defense: In the session, DARPA will focus on ways to "create revolutionary technologies for understanding, planning, and managing cyberwarfare in realtime, large-scale and dynamic network environments," as well as how to research the nature and history of cyberwarfare. It's all to dominate the "cyber battlespace", according to a publicly available PDF on the matter.

That all sounds very low-key for DARPA, though, doesn't it? There's more to it than that.

The program is a tool-building project that DARPA intends to use in order to develop secure operating systems, communication relays, and weapons deployment systems, among other awesome-sounding things like adaptive defense and--best of all--visual maps for cyber warfare.

The idea of a map of the Internet for use in real-time situational awareness planning and strategy for warfare is pretty much the coolest idea ever, if you don't include the 3D models of data you "navigate" through in the movie Hackers (I kid; that's lame in comparison).

The best thing about the open secret conference is that it'll be a hiring event as well, with hopefully the best and brightest in the security industry in attendance to be wowed into working for America by DARPA.

Even though I won't be there, I will keep my fingers crossed that some cool defensive research will come of this conference.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Jason Kennedy

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place