Feeds

DARPA witchfinder-ware to SMITE America's IT traitors

If we're lucky, we'll only have to be lucky once. Erm...

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Our old friends at DARPA - the US military research bureau - have broached another intriguing and mildy upsetting scheme this week. This time the Pentagon boffins want nothing less than some kind of automated witch-finder technology able to finger "increasingly sophisticated malicious insider behavior" in the USA.

According to the US National Counterintelligence Strategy, “Trusted insiders ... are targeting the US information infrastructure for exploitation, disruption, and potential destruction”.

DARPA aren't having any of that, hence their new and sinisterly named Suspected Malicious Insider Threat Elimination (SMITE) project. The warboffins state:

We define insider threat as malevolent (or possibly inadvertent) actions by an already trusted person with access to sensitive information and information systems and sources.

Unspecified "technology" is to be developed to root out the traitors and incompetents menacing the US information infrastructure from within. The DARPA IT directors don't offer any details on how this is to be done, but they do give some general ideas:

Security is often difficult because the defenses must be perfect, while the attacker needs to find only one flaw. An emphasis on forensics could reverse the burden by requiring the attacker and his tools to be perfect, while the defender needs only a few clues to recognize an intrusion is underway.

Topics of interest include ... suggestions about what evidence might mean and [ways to] forecast context-dependent behaviors both malicious and non-malicious.

Also of interest are on-line and off-line algorithms for feature extraction and detection in enormous graphs (as in billions of nodes) as well as hybrid engines where deduction and feature detection mutually inform one another.

It will no doubt be a comfort for anyone in a position of trust within the US information infrastructure to know that mighty military algorithms and hybrid engines will soon sniff your every move so as to forecast any context-dependent malice on your part - and then in some unspecified way (remember what the E in SMITE stands for) eliminate you as a threat.

But this is DARPA, so there's every chance that SMITE will never happen - or that if it does it will mutate into something completely different from what its creators intended.

Full details in pdf here. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.