Logo: University of Southern California

ISI to Help Build DARPA National Cyber Range

Effort builds on previous work on the DETER testbed
Eric Mankin
February 03, 2009 —

The USC Viterbi School's Information Sciences Institute will work with SPARTA Inc. and other collaborators on a DARPA effort to strengthen the nations defenses against cyberattack.

DETER team. New work builds on experience
Announced January 7, the $8.6M award to Sparta Inc is a key part of the DARPA National Cyber Range program. The National Cyber Range will be a test bed consisting of computers and computer systems on which various cyber scenarios may be evaluated to provide a comprehensive, unbiased assessment of the security of information and automated control systems.

In addition to SPARTA and ISI,  the team includes Hewlett Packard, L-3 Communications, Microsoft, Concurrent Technology Corp., University of Utah, Penn State University, Juniper Networks, BreakAway, Ltd., Sandpiper Software, Inc., University of Pennsylvania, Sentar, Inc., Skaion, Inc., and the University of Kansas.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring its unique expertise in security testbed research, design and operations to this important national initiative, said ISI executive director Herbert Schorr.  "The ISI DETER testbed provides a key technology for this effort and the ISI systems expertise will be important components of the Sparta team."
“We are very pleased to have the opportunity bring our expertise in support of this vital national security initiative,” said Tim Heely, president of Sparta Inc. “We and our teammates have been working to counter sophisticated cyber threats for Defense and Law Enforcement customers for many years, and we are honored to have been chosen for this critical effort.”

SPARTA now collaborates with ISI and UC Berkeley on the NSF funded DETER testbed, a public facility for medium-scale repeatable experiments in computer security. Built using Utah's Emulab software, the DETER testbed has been configured and extended to provide an experimental environment including federated testbeds, risky experiment management and experiment monitoring. for a variety of computer security experiments, including defense against attacks such as DDoS, worms, viruses, and other malware, as well as attacks on the routing infrastructure.
“We look forward to applying what we have learned at DETER to the new Cyber Range project,” said DETER co-director Terry Benzel.

“The National Cyber Range will enable multiple experiments designed to produce unbiased, qualitative and quantitative assessments of information assurance and protection, said DARPA Program Manager Michael VanPutte said, “ultimately, the NCR will provide fully automated range and test management suites to test and validate leap-ahead cyber research technologies and systems, and provide vision for iterative and new research directions for the nation.”