Eight contracts totaling $14 million for research on technologies to defend against Distributed Denial of Service Defenses (DDoS) attacks have been awarded through Broad Agency Announcement HSHQDC-14-R- B00017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced.
The projects will become part of the DHS S&T Cyber Security Division’s larger Distributed Denial of Service Defenses (DDoSD) program.
“Cybersecurity is a critical technology area that is continuously changing,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “We need to be able to quickly adapt to challenges like DDoS attacks and work with our partners so that solutions can be rapidly developed to ensure the security of our Nation’s networks and resources.”
DHS said in its announcement that, “Typical DDoS attacks are used to render key resources unavailable, such as disrupting an organization’s website and temporarily block a consumer’s ability to access the site. A more strategic attack may render a key resource inaccessible during a critical period. Financial institutions, news organizations and providers of internet security resources can all experience DDoS attacks. All organizations that rely on network resources are considered potential targets.”
The eight awards will help to address the vulnerabilities in these systems. The awards include:
- University of California, San Diego: $1.3 million;
- University of Southern California, Information Sciences Institute: $1.8 million;
- Colorado State University: $2.7 million;
- University of Houston, Texas: $2.6 million;
- University of Delaware: $1.9 million;
- University of Oregon: $1.3 million;
- Waverley Labs of Waterford, Virginia: $629,992; and
- Galois Inc. of Portland, Oregon: $1.7 million
The awards will work to address the critical issues presented by the DDoS attacks, DHS said, noting that, “As part of the DDoSD program, research and development will focus on three areas:”
Measurement and Analysis to Promote Best Current Practices: this aims to slow the growth rate in denial of service attacks and make current attacks more difficult by promoting the deployment of existing best practices.
Tools for Communication and Collaboration: these will develop tools and techniques that allow organizations to collaboratively respond to attacks.
Novel DDoS Attack Mitigation and Defense Techniques: these address new threats while denial of service attack concepts are being applied to non-traditional targets, such as emergency management systems and cyber physical systems.
“DDoS attacks are a serious threat as attackers are growing increasingly more sophisticated and more effective,” said S&T DDoSD Program Manager Dr. Dan Massey. “The goal of the DDoSD program is to shift the advantage from the attacker to the defender. If we can do that, we increase the ability to withstand future large-scale sophisticated attacks.”
With the success of launching this research and development project, S&T looks forward to securing the nation’s networks by anticipating and defending against DDoS attacks.
For more information, visit scitech.dhs.gov/cyber-research, or email SandT-Cyber-Liaison@hq.dhs.gov.