Vencore, Inc. of Chantilly, VA announced on March 23 that its innovative research arm, Vencore Labs, Inc., has been awarded multiple contracts from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to deliver research in the area of cyber defenses against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. The contracts have a $17.7 million value and will be performed as part of DARPA’s Extreme DDoS Defense (XD3) program over the next three years.
The goal of the XD3 program is to develop fundamentally new DDoS defenses that afford greater resilience across a broad range of DDoS attacks than existing approaches. Several recent DDoS attacks have caused widespread disruption to popular Internet services. These attacks leverage the widespread and growing deployment of Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices combined with freely available malicious code to create disruption that easily overwhelms current defensive techniques. This underscores the need for fundamentally new technologies to detect, mitigate and fight through the effects of DDoS attacks on a large scale.
Under the contract, Vencore Labs plans to develop a comprehensive solution that covers the full spectrum of the DDoS attack surface. Research on distributed communications and network maneuvering will make it harder for attackers to identify high-value targets, and will deny them the critical feedback they need to determine whether an attack is successful; research on DDoS detection and mitigation will help network operators protect critical services from the effects of large scale IoT-based attacks.
“Through the advancement of IoT devices, the threat landscape is expanding, and our defenses need to evolve accordingly,” said Petros Mouchtaris, PhD, president of Vencore Labs. “We look forward to working with DARPA to develop innovative techniques to combat these attacks, making it impossible for attackers to damage critical services.”
This new work draws on Vencore Labs’ expertise with defending and securing large-scale, heterogeneous computer networks. Additionally, the Vencore Labs team will bring a deep-rooted legacy in protecting mission-critical systems and national cyber infrastructure to the project.