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When the internet first started coming into being, security wasn’t really an issue, not even as an afterthought. This is was more than half a decade ago, and obviously this breakthrough technology has come a long way. In just a few decades, the internet has become the central and by far the largest source of information we have. Amazing, right? Yes, it is but with grea power comes great responsibility. The amount of data on the Internet, be it science researches, personal profiles on social media or cat videos, makes it more and more difficult with each passing day to keep our personal information — to say nothing of commercial and state secrets — safe from prying eyes.
In answer to rising concerns over data breaches and cyber-terrorism, DARPA has spun off a new project called High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems, or HACMS. The details are complicated and full of tech jargon, but basically what DARPA is trying to create is an unhackable code. And for the time being, at least, they seem to be successful.
DARPA brought in a team of hackers to try and break into it. The HACMS team stored the code on a real-life, unmanned attack helicopter to see if their team could retrieve it. Even after the hackers were handed access to the actual source code of the helicopter, they were unable to penetrate the main systems and retrieve the code.
The implications are great. Cyber attacks are probably one of the top fears of most organizations, institutions and individuals in the connected world. DARPA might not be there quite yet, but the results are encouraging.
Cyber security has perhaps never been this important, and not just for individuals who fear someone might hack their e-mails and steal their personal information. The battle raging in past months between governments and enterprises regarding encryption in personal devices and the right itself for encryption calls for progress in this field. In the US, which currently displays this in the clearest way, a battle is raging between companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft and the would-be surveillance state envisioned by some statesmen serving in Washington, D.C.