For Immediate Release
DHS Science & Technology Press Office
Contact: John Verrico, (202) 254-2385
Washington, DC – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) awarded a $1.38 million contract to the University of Oregon to create technology to defend against large and sophisticated Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. One of eight contracts to be awarded through Broad Agency Announcement HSHQDC-14-R- B00017, the University of Oregon’s “DrawBridge” project will become part of the DHS S&T Cyber Security Division’s larger Distributed Denial of Service Defenses (DDoSD) program.
DDoS attacks are used to render key resources unavailable. A typical DDoS attack might disrupt an organization’s website and temporarily block a consumer’s ability to access the site. A more strategic attack could make a key resource inaccessible during a critical period. Prominent DDoS attacks have been conducted against financial institutions, news organizations, providers of Internet security resources, and government agencies. Any organization that relies on network resources is considered a potential target and the current cyber environment offers many advantages to the attacker.
“Cyber threats like DDoS attacks are continuously changing.” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “The Directorate is working to develop innovative solutions to reduce the impact of these attacks on the nation’s networks.”
The University of Oregon plans to create a cyber “DrawBridge” that can be used to block DDoS attack traffic from attacking an organization. Currently, individual organizations are not able to manage the traffic flow to their network because this function is managed by the Internet Service Provider (ISP). By implementing the drawbridge at the ISP traffic point, this project will allow the organization to work closely with the ISP to stop undesirable traffic to the organization’s network. The coordination of efforts between the ISP and the organization will give the organization an advantage in the event of a DDoS attack.
“Virtually any site on the Internet could become the victim of a Distributed Denial of Service attack and the attackers are constantly exploiting new techniques and new technologies to make attacks even more effective,” said Dr. Dan Massey, S&T Cyber Security Division DDoSD Program Manager. “Efforts such as the one envisioned by the University of Oregon team aim to exploit new technologies to make cyber defense more robust.”
With the success of launching this R&D project, S&T looks forward to securing the nation’s networks by anticipating and defending against DDoS attacks.