DARPA announces AI Cyber Challenge small business competitors

As part of the AI Cyber Challenge’s Small Business Track, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded seven companies $1 million each to develop AI-enabled cyber reasoning systems that automatically find and fix software vulnerabilities at scale, DARPA announced March 11.

Computer systems, especially critical infrastructure, remain highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks, as evidenced in a recent government report. Through the AI Cyber Challenge (AIxCC), DARPA intends to redefine software security by using a competition model to drive innovation among the security and AI communities.

DARPA is collaborating with Anthropic, Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI to provide competitors with some of the latest advances in AI. AIxCC competitors will develop and test their solutions at DARPA’s semifinal event at DEF CON 32 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

DARPA received a robust response of competitive submissions from small businesses for this opportunity. An independent judging panel of government subject matter experts from institutions such as the U.S. Air Force Research Lab, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering and the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, reviewed submissions that explained the cyber reasoning system concept for each business. Judges scored the concept’s feasibility, soundness of technical approach, open-source strategy, and overall submission quality and completeness.

The teams with the top seven scores included the following:

  • Shellphish, Shellphish Support Syndicate
  • Trail of Bits, Trail of Bits, Inc.
  • Zellic
  • LACROSSE, Smart Information Flow Technologies (SIFT)
  • 42-b3yond-6ug, Net Shield LLC
  • VERSATIL, GrammaTech, Inc.


The teams not selected for the Small Business Track have been automatically entered into the competition’s Open Track, which will continue accepting registrations through April 30, 2024.

Source: DARPA

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