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This is a brilliant idea – If you stop and think about it, today cybersecurity depends on humans – computer security experts. These experts identify new flaws and threats and remediate them by hand…one at a time. This process can take over a year from first detection to the deployment of a solution, by which time critical systems may have already been breached. This slow reaction cycle has created a permanent offensive advantage. DARPA has an idea for a solution.

So much code, so little time.

DARPA has created the Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC) which seeks to automate this entire cyber defense process. They are working to create the first generation of machines that can discover, prove and fix software flaws in real-time, without any assistance. If successful, the speed of autonomy could someday blunt the structural advantages of cyber offense.

How cool is that? (And on some level, scarer!)
They are doing this by taking the ultimate test of wits in computer security – a global Capture the Flag (CTF) tournament circuit – and turning it into a contest of machines. On August 4th, 2016, DARPA will hold the world’s first all-computer Capture the Flag tournament in Las Vegas. Seven prototype systems will square off against each other, competing for nearly $4 million in prizes in a live network competition. The CGC Final Event will take place in conjunction with DEF CON, home of the longest-running annual CTF competition.

To learn more about the Cyber Grand Challenge and the seven brilliant teams at the Cyber Grand Challenge site!

Cyber Challenge