Open-source software may not sound compatible with the idea of strong cybersecurity, but the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sees such software, which anyone can tinker with, as a possible tool for defending government networks from both online thieves and professional cyberspies.
A new five-year, $10 million program aims to survey existing open-source software to find those that could fill "open security" needs. Called the Homeland Open Security Technology program, or HOST, it also may plant seed investments where needed to inspire innovative solutions that can fill gaps in cybersecurity defenses.
"We're not pushing the perspective that open-source software is the silver bullet," said Joshua Davis, a research scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute and principal investigator for HOST. "But it can help to raise the nation's security posture."
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