Digital fingerprints to identify hackers

How can you retaliate against a cyber attacker if you don’t know who he is? As we have witnessed lately, attribution of an attack is quickly becoming one of the biggest problems that the US defense and cyber security community are facing at the moment.

According to Wired, DARPA, the agency of the US DoD responsible for the development of new technology for use by the military – and of the Internet – has accepted the challenge and will be starting Cyber Genome, a project aimed at developing a “cyber equivalent of fingerprints or DNA”, so that the hacker can be conclusively identified. The project will be set in motion as early as this week.

The agency announced on Monday that they will strive to produce “revolutionary cyber defense and investigatory technologies for the collection, identification, characterization, and presentation of properties and relationships from collected digital artifacts of software, data, and/or users.”

The digital artifacts in question will be “collected from live systems (traditional computers, personal digital assistants, and/or distributed information systems such as “cloud computers’), from wired or wireless networks, or collected storage media.”

Theoretically, this could mean that someday, everybody’s “cyber genome” will be known and mapped. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves – first, DARPA will have to see if the idea can be translated to reality.




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