Incident Response, TDR

DARPA seeks to develop program that drastically improves DDoS defense

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has started taking applications to develop a stronger defense against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

The idea of the program, called Extreme DDoS Defense (XD3), is to create a countermeasures system that is not only more nimble in thwarting an attack, but also able to quickly recognize when an attack is developing so it can establish a proper defense.

One goal is to have a response time of 10 seconds or less, but that would be under ideal conditions and dependent upon the level of the attack.

Whether or not any security system or software developed will only be used for military purposes remains to be seen. The first review will occur in October 2015, with a start date for the program scheduled for around April 2016.

“While it's early to speculate where the technology may find application, it's not uncommon for DARPA research to have dual use for military and commercial purposes,” Jared Adams, DARPA's chief of media relations, said to Wednesday in an email correspondence.

DARPA hopes the end result will be an entirely new and revolutionary form of defense, since the current level of DDoS preventative measures “fall well short of desired capabilities.”

“In general, the program aims to thwart DDoS attacks by dispersing cyber assets (physically and/or logically), disguising the characteristics and behaviors of those assets, and mitigating the attacks (especially low‐volume attacks) that still penetrate the targeted environment,” DARPA said in the Broad Agency Announcement that calls for applicants.

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