Feeds

DARPA seeks game players to join bug-hunt

No prize, but you get to play for free

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

DARPA, which last week launched a multi-million-dollar bug hunt, is also trying out the notion of using games to help track down bugs in commercial software.

However, while last week's bounty is targeting hackers, the Crowd Sourced Formal Verification project is hoping to use mug punters to find bugs in commercial-style software – rather like every software vendor on earth, but instead of us having to suffer BSODs or crashing applications, DARPA wants to make it fun.

Hence Verigames, which the agency wants to use to translate the “hard math” of formal software verification into something that the untrained can accomplish by playing games.

As DARPA puts it: “The CSFV games translate players’ actions into program annotations and generate mathematical proofs to verify the absence of important classes of flaws in software written in the C and Java programming languages. CSFV aims to investigate whether large numbers of non-experts playing formal verification games can perform formal verification faster and more cost-effectively than conventional processes.”

DARPA program manager Drew Dean said: “We’re seeing if we can take really hard math problems and map them onto interesting, attractive puzzle games that online players will solve for fun.”

The program has been launched with five games – CircuitBot (run a team of robots), Flow Jam (adjusting a cable network to maximise its flow), Ghost Map (find a path through a brain network), StormBound (discover symbols in a windstorm) and Xylem (use maths to catalogue plant species).

Under the hood, the agency says, the games “translate players' actions into program annotations that help formal verification”. In this instance, the gameplay is testing C and Java code present in common open-source software.

If harmful bugs are discovered, DARPA says it will notify the organisation responsible for the software. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Whistling Google: PLEASE! Brussels can only hurt Europe, not us
And Commish is VERY pro-Google. Why should we worry?
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
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.
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?
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.