[ISN] DARPA Unveils Cyber Warfare Range

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2008 03:07:49 -0600 (CST)

By David A. Fulghum
Dec 30, 2008

Cyber weapon researchers worry that pieces of the digital warfare puzzle 
are still missing, in particular projection of new threats that foes may 
throw at the U.S. But U.S. Defense Department researchers may have an 
answer in the form of a new proving grounds of sorts.

“Who’s looking at what’s coming next?” asks Rance Walleston, director of 
BAE Systems’ Information Operations Initiative. “That’s still weak.”

Already, “we are seeing the threats shifting,” says Aaron Penkacik, 
director of BAE Systems’ Collaborative Technology Alliance that works 
with small companies and universities around the world to create and 
developed specialized materials and technologies. “As you go into a new 
theater of operations, you see [advanced communications and new uses for 
networks] pop-up everywhere. The threat is there, ad-hoc, undefined and 
asymmetric. So you have to stand up your capability quickly to defend 
and fight your networks.”

The BAE executive says the ramifications are already playing out in real 
ways. “It’s changing the way we think about deploying software-defined 
radios,” he says by way of example. “We’re using common modules that 
have software functions that are adaptable in real time as the threat 

And today, as there are specialized test ranges for all types of radars 
and weapons, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has 
funded a new program called the National Cyber Range. So far they’ve 
awarded a six-month, paid proposal phase contract to a number of 

“They’re going to build an environment where we can play around and 
begin looking at ‘anticipated’ problems,” Walleston says. “What’s 
they’re saying is that we need the equivalent of a White Sands [Missile 
Range] for cyber war. We have bits and pieces of range all over the 
place, but nothing definitive. This will be [the premier] cyber range 
where you can bring all your tools and techniques and try them out in an 
environment that closely resembles the real world.”


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Received on Wed Dec 31 2008 - 01:07:49 PST

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