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13998514_m featureThis problem is getting more serious – the inadequacy of current network security systems, which require expert programmers to identify and repair system weaknesses — typically after attackers have taken advantage of those weaknesses to steal data or disrupt processes. Such disruptions pose greater risks than ever as more and more devices, including vehicles and homes, get networked in what has become known as “the Internet of things.”

According to HomeLand Security News Wire DARPA is addressing this problem, with teams from around the world .

They are starting a two-year track toward the world’s first tournament of fully automated network security systems. Computer security experts from academia, industry, and the larger security community have organized themselves into more than thirty teams to compete in DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge — first-of-its-kind tournament designed to speed the development of automated security systems able to defend against cyberattacks as fast as they are launched.

iHLS – Israel Homeland Security

Today’s security methods involve experts working with computerized systems to identify attacks, craft corrective patches and signatures and distribute those correctives to users everywhere — a process that can take months from the time an attack is first launched,” said Mike Walker, DARPA program manager. “The only effective approach to defending against today’s ever-increasing volume and diversity of attacks is to shift to fully automated systems capable of discovering and neutralizing attacks instantly.”

DARPA says that to help accelerate this transition, the agency launched the Cyber Grand Challenge, the first computer security tournament designed to test the wits of machines, not experts. The Challenge plans to follow a “capture the flag” competition format that experts have used for more than twenty years to test their cyber defense skills. That approach requires that competitors reverse engineer software created by challenge organizers and locate and heal its hidden weaknesses in a live network competition.