Networked, embedded systems are vulnerable to remote attack, DARPA officials point out. Exploits have resulted in the theft of water (Gignac Canal System in France), the release of raw sewage (Maroochy Shire Sewage plant in Australia), the delivery of incorrect dosages of insulin, printers catching on fire, interference with a Landsat-7 earth observation satellite, and computer viruses infecting the ground-control systems of the Predator and Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), DARPA officials say. The HACMS program aims to integrate publicly available tools into a high-assurance software workbench, which will be widely distributed to commercial and defense software developers. HACMS will use these tools to generate an open-source, high-assurance operating system and control system, and then use these components to build high-assurance military vehicles that are invulnerable to hacker attack.
Developing this kind of cyber security technology for military vehicles will require a fundamentally different approach from what the software community has done so far, DARPA officials explain. HACMS seeks to enable semi-automated code synthesis from executable, formal specifications, as well as produce machine-checkable proof that the code is secure. HACMS has five parts: synthesizer, formal specifications, verified libraries, proven code, and diagnostic information. Key HACMS technologies will include interactive software synthesis systems, verification tools such as theorem provers and model checkers, and specification languages. DARPA officials say they anticipate making several awards for the program.
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