21 Feb 2011

DARPA announces Cyber Fast Track project

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently announced it is launching a new project aimed at improving cyber security PC World reports.

Announced at the ShmooCon Hacker Convention in Washington, D.C., Cyber Fast Track will rely on the skills of small organizations, boutiques, hacker spaces and maker labs to find cyber security solutions.

According to DARPA project manager Peiter Zatko, instead of waiting years for results from government funds, he wants results within months by harnessing teams or individuals on the back of short, fixed-price DARPA contracts.

Zatko is known for his legendary password-cracking tool named L0phtCrack, and famously told a Senate committee that hackers could disable the internet within 30 minutes.

"I went over to the dark side because they need it," Zatko explained in his keynote, referring to his employment by DARPA. "I want the government to modify and change."

Despite Zatko’s push for quicker results, the Department of Homeland Security has also made cyber security a priority, investing $40 million to focus on insider threats, botnets, malware and research in 2011.