Annual Computer Security Applications Conference 2015

Full Program »

Distinguished Practitioners Keynote: Creating a League of Extra-Ordinary Machines

Thursday, 10 December 2015
08:30 - 10:00

Sierra CD

Chair: Stephen Schwab, USC Information Sciences Institute

DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge: Building and Running Cyber Infrastructure for Fully Automated Computer-vs-Computer Capture the Flag Competitions

with a presentation by:

Benjamin Price and Michael Zhivich, MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Cyber Grand Challenge Infrastructure Team Members


June 3rd, 2014: ­ DARPA launches the Cyber Grand Challenge: a competition that seeks to create automatic defensive systems capable of reasoning about flaws, formulating patches, and deploying them on a network in real time.

June 3rd, 2015: ­ MIT Lincoln Laboratory hosts the CGC Qualifier Event - the world's first Capture-the-Flag tournament with completely autonomous competitors.

During the CGC Qualifier Event, the Cyber Reasoning Systems developed by teams from around the world were faced with a collection of 131 never-before-seen, custom-developed pieces of software running on a specially-crafted platform (DECREE), and were required to automatically discover flaws and patch this software to earn their spot in the CGC Final Event.  Designing and creating the Game and the Arena for these extra-ordinary competitors has been a challenging and exciting project.

In this talk, we will discuss the game design and infrastructure created to enable the competition, the challenges to repeatability inherent in evaluating software, and how we chose to address these challenges. We will share our analysis of the results from the CGC Qualifier Event, and describe the DECREE platform and challenge set corpus, which are now freely available to the research community.  Finally, we will speculate on how the advances in automated cyber reasoning systems fostered by DARPA's CGC program will affect the current balance of power in cyber security.

August 4th, 2016: ­ Seven autonomous Cyber Reasoning Systems compete head-to-head for a $2,000,000 grand prize in Las Vegas at DEFCON.  And the winner is…


About the Speakers

Photo: Mr. Benjamin Pierce

Mr. Benjamin Price joined the MIT Lincoln Laboratory in 2011 as a member of the Cyber Systems Assessment Group. Since joining he has contributed to or led evaluation programs in areas such as malware analysis and cryptography. Prior to joining the Laboratory, Mr. Price worked at BiogenIdec, the Boston Stock Exchange, Accenture, and EMC2 in the areas of compliance, automated monitoring,  IT, software testing, and system analysis.

Mr.  Price holds an MS in computer science from Tufts University.

Photo: Michael Zhivich

Mr. Michael Zhivich  joined MIT Lincoln Laboratory in 2005 as a member of the Secure Resilient Systems and Technology Group. Since joining the Laboratory, he  has contributed to research, development, and evaluation efforts in several areas, including program analysis and testing aimed at discovering security vulnerabilities; whole-system dynamic information flow tracking; malware analysis tool development; and virtual machine introspection.

In addition to building, analyzing, and evaluating secure systems, Mr. Zhivich's interests  include cryptography, usability, and economic implications of deploying  security mechanisms and policies.

Mr. Zhivich holds SB and MEng degrees in computer science and electrical engineering from MIT.


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