@DevOpsSummit Authors: Liz McMillan, Jignesh Solanki, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Scott Davis


Machine Hackathon: DARPA Plays Cyber Capture the Flag

Machine Hackathon: DARPA Plays Cyber Capture the Flag

DARPA machine hackathon

A machine hackathon is about to take on a whole new meaning as Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DRAPA) prepares to hold it’s first ever machine-only hackathon. With a specific focus on cybersecurity, this cyber version of Capture the Flag (CTF), is DARPA’s way of combating the onset of cyber attacks in real-time. DARPA’s normal approval process is lengthy; once a potential threat is recognized and a software solution has been created, it has to be tested and approved before it can be implemented, and by the time the software fix is ready to be used across the board, another threat looms on their horizon.

Some of you might be asking, “What is DARPA and who are their finalists in this cyber challenge?”

Not to worry, the short video below provides some background and context.

The contest is truly a battle of the minds, as hacker teams try their hand at reverse-engineering software to seek out and find weakness in the system and fix those holes while attacking other machines at the same time. Those teams that are successful in both attacking and fixing holes capture the digital flag and win points in the ongoing process. This competition will take place in conjunction with the annual DEFCON, the longest running annual hacker competition.

Before we start thinking that we’re living a modernized version of “Hackers,” there are a few more things to know. First, this is really a battle of software. The final teams were given a DARPA computer to code and must create a software platform to interact with the DARPA database. Once the competition begins, the teams will not be able to intervene if their software fails to see a weakness or is attacked by another team. The goal is to create an artificial intelligence (AI) software that is capable of responding in real-time to potential threats and weakness within its databases.

DARPA Hackathon

Wired has added this contest to their radar, saying, “DARPA has gone full Tron. It might feel more like a video game, than a hacking contest, as DARPA has arranged for a visual diagram to be displayed on the big screen, that will show each attack and from what machine the attack came from.”

Whether you believe Wired or the other tech experts, this type of machine AI is hoping to turn the tables on the war on cyber safety. Instead of waiting for an attack to strike, DARPA’s intuitive software will attempt to seek out weakness autonomously giving the Defense Department the added edge it needs to prevent leaks in the system.

This is another intriguing example of how machine learning is becoming integrated into so many facets of the world at-large. Whether you make your way to Las Vegas to witness the DARPA’s version of CTF or not, that fact is we continue to add more M2M and IoT solutions to our daily lives. It’s only natural we find new ways to have machines assist us.

More Stories By Scott Allen

Scott is an executive leader with more than 25 years of experience in product lifecycle management, product marketing, business development, and technology deployment. He offers a unique blend of start-up aggressiveness and established company executive leadership, with expertise in product delivery, demand generation, and global market expansion. As CMO of FreeWave, Scott is responsible for product life cycle/management, GTM execution, demand generation, and brand creation/expansion strategies.

Prior to joining FreeWave, Scott held executive management positions at Fluke Networks (a Danaher Company), Network Associates (McAfee), and several start-ups including Mazu Networks and NEXVU Business Solutions. Scott earned his BA in Computer Information Systems from Weber University.

@DevOpsSummit Stories
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, which can process our conversational commands and orchestrate the outcomes we request across our personal and professional realm of connected devices.
The need for greater agility and scalability necessitated the digital transformation in the form of following equation: monolithic to microservices to serverless architecture (FaaS). To keep up with the cut-throat competition, the organisations need to update their technology stack to make software development their differentiating factor. Thus microservices architecture emerged as a potential method to provide development teams with greater flexibility and other advantages, such as the ability to deliver applications at warp speed using infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) environments.
ChatOps is an emerging topic that has led to the wide availability of integrations between group chat and various other tools/platforms. Currently, HipChat is an extremely powerful collaboration platform due to the various ChatOps integrations that are available. However, DevOps automation can involve orchestration and complex workflows. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Himanshu Chhetri, CTO at Addteq, will cover practical examples and use cases such as self-provisioning infrastructure/applications, self-remediation workflows, integrating monitoring and complimenting integrations between Atlassian tools and other top tools in the industry.
The use of containers by developers -- and now increasingly IT operators -- has grown from infatuation to deep and abiding love. But as with any long-term affair, the honeymoon soon leads to needing to live well together ... and maybe even getting some relationship help along the way. And so it goes with container orchestration and automation solutions, which are rapidly emerging as the means to maintain the bliss between rapid container adoption and broad container use among multiple cloud hosts. This BriefingsDirect cloud services maturity discussion focuses on new ways to gain container orchestration, to better use serverless computing models, and employ inclusive management to keep the container love alive.
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was joined by a panel of industry experts and real-world practitioners who shared their insight into an emerging set of best practices that lie at the heart of today's digital transformation.