June 8, 2020

Pentagon Readying National Cyber Range

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technology for use by the military, is developing the National Cyber Range (NCR) to provide realistic, quantifiable
assessments of the Nation’s cyber research and development technologies.

This “virtual firing range” is intended to be a replica of the real Internet allowing researches (working on classified and unclassified projects) can mimic international cyberwars to test their defences. The NCR should be ready by next year and will also help the Pentagon to train its own hackers and refine the skills needed to protect US information systems, both military and domestic.

Planning for the Cyber Range was carried out by Lockheed Martin, which won a $30.8 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) grant, and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which won $24.7 million.

It is hoped the NCR will be a flexible test bed that can simulate government, military and commercial networks as well as human aspects. The human behavior simulation has to be able to respond as a person would under defense readiness condition (DefCon) and information operations condition (InfoCon) as well as carry out execution of war plans.

The NCR will forensically collect, analyze, visualize, and present data and information from the tests. Knowledge and insights gained during testing will assist operators and evelopers as they refine, research, and develop operations, technologies, policies and procedures to strengthen cyber security.

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