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Vencore Labs to Provide Cyber Defense Analysis to DARPA

Katerina Figurski

Chantilly, VA – July 26, 2016 – Vencore Labs, Inc., wholly owned subsidiary of Vencore, Inc., announced today that it has been awarded a prime contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to deliver research in the area of enhanced cyber defense by developing a fully air-gapped detection system based on analysis of involuntary analog emissions. The four-year contract has a total ceiling value of $8.3M and will be performed as part of DARPA’s Leveraging the Analog Domain for Security (LADS) program.

The ultimate goal of the LADS program, sponsored in conjunction with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), is to develop technology for the detection of malicious behavior of embedded and Internet of Things (IoT) devices by monitoring their analog emissions.

Specifically, Vencore Labs will look at radio frequency, acoustic, and power signatures produced by the system being monitored in order to determine if the system is operating normally or is under attack. This would allow for true air gap monitoring of critical systems, leaving no way for an attacker to know that such defenses are in place.

“Securing the Internet of Things is a real challenge,” said Petros Mouchtaris, Ph.D., president of Vencore Labs. “But the potential threat is also very real. We look forward to expanding our partnership with DARPA in order to develop an innovative technique to solve this complex problem.”

This new work draws on Vencore Labs’ expertise with very low-level signals in noisy environments, binary program analysis, and machine learning techniques. Additionally, the Vencore Labs team will bring a deep rooted legacy in protecting mission-critical systems and national cyber infrastructure to the project.

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