Last year DARPA launched a hacking competition and the results of the competition offer some real encouragement. During the competition hackers tried to attack a secure IoT chip developed through DARPA’s System Security Integration Through Hardware and Firmware (SSITH) program. The good news is that most attacks were not successful, especially those that focused their attacks on the hardware. Those attacks that targeted the IoT software though did experience some success. The story that follows offers more details on the effort and describes how DARPA expects to make more progress in securing IoT devices.
Last summer, Darpa asked hackers to take their best shots at a set of newly designed hardware architectures. After 13,000 hours of hacking by 580 cybersecurity researchers, the results are finally in: just 10 vulnerabilities. Darpa is calling it a win, not because the new hardware fought off every attack, but because it “proved the value of the secure hardware architectures developed under its System Security Integration Through Hardware and Firmware (SSITH) program while pinpointing critical areas to further harden defenses,” says the agency.