Australian Computer Scientists to Develop Software for Multi-million-dollar US Government Cyber-security Project

Australian Computer Scientists to Develop Software for Multi-million-dollar US
                      Government Cyber-security Project

  PR Newswire

  SYDNEY, Nov. 15, 2012

SYDNEY, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A multi-million-dollar contract with the
United States Government will see a team of computer scientists from NICTA,
Australia's Information and Communications Technology Research Centre of
Excellence, develop a new breed of software to protect the critical systems in
unmanned vehicles from cyber attack.

A consortium, led by Rockwell Collins with NICTA as a core member, won the
4.5-year, US$18 million project with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency (DARPA). The project promises to have far-reaching future applications
protecting critical systems in motor vehicles, medical devices and aircraft.

"As computers replace mechanical systems in many industries, we are
increasingly dependent on the functionality implemented in software," said Dr
Jodi Steel, Director of the Security and Environment Business Team at NICTA.
"This project is all about making sure that such systems function as intended,
even in the case of cyber attacks."

The work will be undertaken by the same group of NICTA scientists that
developed the highly robust seL4 operating system, which the prestigious MIT
Technology Review named in 2011 as one of the top ten technologies likely to
change the world. The project is part of DARPA's High-Assurance Cyber Military
Systems (HACMS) program, which aims to produce highly-dependable systems that
are resilient to emerging cyber threats. The consortium also includes The
Boeing Company, Galois and the University of Minnesota.

The NICTA team will develop new approaches to address the many challenges
involved in building high-assurance systems. The aim is to develop a complete,
formally proven architecture to protect the control and communication systems
of an aerial vehicle from compromise by faults and targeted attacks. Formal
verification has in the past been used to ensure correct operation of
critical, but small and isolated pieces of software in fly-by-wire aircraft
and nuclear power plants.


NICTA (National ICT Australia Ltd) is Australia's Information and
Communications Technology Research Centre of Excellence. NICTA develops
technologies that generate economic, social and environmental benefits for
Australia. NICTA collaborates with industry on joint projects, creates new
companies, and provides new talent to the ICT sector through a NICTA-enhanced
PhD program. With five laboratories around Australia and over 700 people,
NICTA is the largest organisation in Australia dedicated to ICT research.

NICTA is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of
Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and the Australian Research
Council through the ICT Centre of Excellence Program. NICTA is also funded and
supported by the Australian Capital Territory, the New South Wales, Queensland
and Victorian Governments, the Australian National University, the University
of New South Wales, the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland,
the University of Sydney, Griffith University, Queensland University of
Technology and Monash University.

For further information: Dorothy KennedyCommunications Specialist, NICTA Ph:
+61-2-9376-2098 or +61-488-229-687
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