Cyber Mission Unit

DARPA Seeks Protection from Cyber Attacks

May 15, 2017
Rockwell Collins has been awarded a DARPA contract to develop software protection against cyber attacks.

As part of a contract that runs through 2018, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected Rockwell Collins to protect new land, sea, and air platforms from cyber attacks. Mathematics-based methods developed by Rockwell Collins and its partners in DARPA’s High Assurance Cyber Military Systems (HACMS) program will be employed to eliminate vulnerabilities in these platforms in the war against cyber criminals.

“In today’s highly connected world, land, air, and sea platforms can fall victim to cyber attack,” explained John Borghese, vice president of Rockwell Collins’ Advanced Technology Center, “HACMS provides peace of mind and high assurance that these systems are resistant to a cyberattack.” The HACMS methods involve architectural modeling and analysis, a secure microkernel, and automatic generation of application code. Each uses mathematical reasoning to ensure the absence of vulnerabilities that can be exploited in a cyberattack, improving the safety and security of critical electronic systems in military and commercial platforms.

The Rockwell Collins HACMS team, which includes Galois, Data 61, HRL, and the University of Minnesota, recently demonstrated the effectiveness of the approach during a demonstration in Sterling, Va. Among the platforms that received the cyber protection were an unmanned helicopter, a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and an enhanced soldier vision helmet.

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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