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DHS S&T Awards $2.2 Million to Malibu, California Company for Mobile Security Research

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DHS S&T Awards $2.2 Million to Malibu, California Company for Mobile Security Research

Release Date: 
August 12, 2015

For Immediate Release
DHS Science & Technology Press Office
Contact: John Verrico, (202) 254-2385

Washington, D.C. – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) today announced a $2.2 million cybersecurity Mobile Technology Security (MTS) research and development (R&D) award that will help secure mobile devices for the federal government. The contract award, as a result of Broad Agency Announcement HSHQDC-14-R-B0015 by the Cyber Security Division, was made to HRL Laboratories, LLC from Malibu, California to work on mobile security research in mobile device instrumentation.

“Mobile devices have become critical tools for government personnel to accomplish our mission,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “Protecting government information and users by securing these devices is an S&T priority.”

The MTS award is a part of the Mobile Device Security (MDS) R&D project which aims to accelerate the adoption of secure mobility for government and private sector organizations.  The MDS project is developing R&D technologies in mobile device instrumentation, transactional security methods, mobile security management tools and mobile device layer protection.  

Mobile security research in mobile device instrumentation will look at applying a breakthrough low power anomaly detection system that provides unobtrusive, and continuous, behavior-based authentication for mobile devices. HRL Laboratories’ approach is based on a “brain-inspired” algorithm of learning user behaviors.. In operation, the system will provide security alerts to activate novel early warning system (EWS) algorithms. An important result of this development will be the combination of managing the power efficiency of hardware with intermittent EWS classification to remove false alarms; inferring behavioral anomalies from native mobile device sensors; and working to attain less than one false alert per week. Ultimately, this work will be implemented by HRL, and subcontractor The Boeing Company, on a Boeing BlackTM smartphone.

“Given the recent cyber intrusions, it is even more important to enable secure mobile authentication for our mobile devices” said Cyber Security Division MDS Program Manager Vincent Sritapan. “With performers like HRL Labs, we can build innovative secure technologies that leverage sensors on the device, use breakthrough low power technologies, and provide new forms of mobile access control that defends against adversaries.”

The successful launch of this R&D project will enable S&T to provide cutting-edge, secure technologies to the Department, government, and enterprising organizations to help create a secure and seamless mobile experience.

For more information, visit scitech.dhs.gov/cyber-research or email SandT-Cyber-Liaison@HQ.DHS.GOV.

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