Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, a military’s research wing, is giving away a $2 million for its hacking contest in which the hackers are other computers. DARPA is a division that has been famous for similar contest where Star Wars-esque robots compete in an obstacle course.
Soon, if the Defense Department will make another move, its supercomputers will probably be able to do its own search for computer flaws and patch.
The event is part of the strategies to solve one of the biggest threats in cybersecurity: It cost less to be a hacker than be a defender. That’s because companies need to spend a large amount on researchers and new technologies to find bugs, software holes, patch them and buy systems to warn firm when hackers entered the system.
According to Mandiat’s Richard Bejtlich, with $1 million he could create a team that can hack any computer system online. But $1 million will surely not enough to defend a site against any cyberthreats.
DARPAS’s program manager and longtime security researcher, Mike Walker hopes to contribute in creating machines that make protection cheaper by just finding and fixing their own security holes. “If you look at the imbalance of power between attack and defense, it’s a problem of economics.”
The competition will allow computers to run on simplified software and will earn score points through hacking into each other or by fending off attacks from other machines. It imitates the capture that flag contest hacking convention often hold.
Also, some organization can benefits from supercomputers that crawls computer network for security holes that can offer a back door.
In 2016, the finals will be held at the site of Def Con which is major hacking conference. The winner gets $2 million, second place gets $1 million and third place receives $750,000.Walker will be taking questions on Reddit on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. eastern.