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DARPA awards $30m to create security test bed
Published: 2009-01-12

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the research arm of the U.S. military, announced last week that six companies and one university will receive $30 million in federal funds to architect components of the United States' next-generation test bed for cybersecurity technologies.

The initiative, known as the National Cyber Range, aims to create a dedicated facility for the testing for cybersecurity technologies with an aim toward helping the United States maintain a lead over cybercriminals and other national adversaries. Corporate and academic researchers will be allowed to use the facility to test advanced technologies, the agency said.

"Addressing the vulnerabilities within our cyber infrastructure must become our long-term national security and economic security priority," Melissa Hathaway, director of the Joint Interagency Cyber Task Force, said in a statement. "I don't believe that this is a single-year or even a multi-year investment — it’s a multi-decade approach."

DARPA sent out a call for proposals last May. On Thursday, it awarded BAE Systems $3.3 million, General Dynamics $1.9 million, Johns Hopkins University $7.3 million, Lockheed Martin $5.4 million, Northrup Grumman $344,000, SAIC $2.8 million, and SPARTA $8.6 million. The awards were announced exactly one year after President Bush signed National Security Presidential Directive 54/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23, which created the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative. The National Cyber Range is DARPA's contribution to that initiative.

The initial phase of the National Cyber Range will last eight months, during which the seven contractors will create detailed engineering plans of proposed technologies. DARPA will then choose whether to continue with the project, the agency said.

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Posted by: Robert Lemos
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