via Information Week Government
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on Thursday launched Cyber Fast Track, an effort to fund innovative cybersecurity efforts by groups and people who don’t usually do work for the government, including hobbyists, boutique security labs, and other small groups of hackers, DARPA project manager Peiter “Mudge” Zatko announced at Black Hat, a UBM TechWeb event, in Las Vegas.
The Cyber Fast Track program, first announced at the annual ShmooCon cybersecurity conference in January, will fund between 20 and 100 projects a year, Zatko said. The short, fixed-price contracts will be awarded with little turnaround time–about 10 days from the receipt of proposals–based on a simple proposal template so as to lower the barrier to entry. Projects will be carried out over no more than a few months.
Cyber Fast Track will fund experimental projects, including commodity high-end computing, open software tools, and others, that might help the military. For example, Zatko raised possibilities like cheap unmanned aerial vehicles and an automated war-dialer that could repeatedly ring phones in a given area to discourage bomb-makers from building improvised explosive devices. Cyber Fast Track may also fund community efforts, possibly including a bug hunting exercise.