Feeds

US cyberwar firing range to demo by July

Weapons-grade warez to hammer 'replicant' sim-people

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

DARPA has announced that its planned "National Cyber Range" – an artificial, sealed-off internet inhabited by simulated nodes, computers, sysadmins, users etc in which the USA can test-fire cyber weapons and practice cyber combat – is to reach demonstration status by July this year.

Lockheed Martin, working on the Range on behalf of the military warboffins, yesterday received an additional $7,360,467 modification to a $30.8m Phase II contract announced last January. According to the contract modification notice:

At the completion of the revised Phase II program, the contractor will demonstrate the capabilities of the flexible automated Cyber Test Range NCR ...  The work is expected to be completed July 7, 2011.

DARPA has previously specified that the Cyber Range is to be able to simulate a network on the same scale as the internet or the US military's Global Information Grid. In addition to the various kinds of machinery, the Range will also be populated by software "replicants" playing the part of human users, admins and other people whose actions would register on the network. The replicants' behaviour is to be affected realistically as the frightful code bombs and cyber missiles of tomorrow devastate their peaceful world, so modelling the war-warez' effects accurately.

The Range, like many meatspace military firing ranges, will be more than just a weapons test facility: it will also be used to train combatants as though in live-fire exercises. America's combat geeks, packing the bleeding-edge products of "technology thrusts [and] classified cyber programs" will tangle with the shadowy OpFor (Opposing Forces), who will be tooled up with weapons-grade, "nation-state quality" network weaponry of their own.

Presumably the experience of being a hapless replicant bystander ground between the millstones of the US cyber war machine and the OpFor would be an unpleasant one, if software people were capable of actually feeling fear or stress – rather than merely simulating their effects accurately.

Similar pocket-universe cybergeddon sims are set to be unleashed in Blighty: the UK has a cyber range project too, being set up near Portsmouth by BT and the British tentacle of US defence mammoth Northrop Grumman. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.