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DHS S&T Awards HRL Laboratories $2.5M for Automotive Cyber Security Research

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DHS S&T Awards HRL Laboratories $2.5M for Automotive Cyber Security Research

Release Date: 
October 29, 2015

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

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) awarded $2.5 million to HRL Laboratories, LLC, of Malibu, Cal., for the development of technology that can help defend government and privately owned vehicles from cyber-attacks. The project titled “Side-Channel Causal Analysis for Design of Cyber-Physical Security” was awarded through Broad Agency Announcement HSHQDC-14-R- B00016  and is part of the DHS S&T Cyber Security Division’s larger Cyber Physical Systems Security (CPSSEC) program.

“We need to keep pace with the cyber threat landscape,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “Cyber threats are constantly changing, and S&T is working to develop innovative solutions to defend against cyber threats for physical systems such as automobiles.”

Advances in networking, computing, sensing, and control systems have enabled a broad range of Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) devices, including modern vehicles, medical devices, building controls, the smart power grid, and the Internet of Things. Driven by functional requirements and fast moving markets, these systems are being designed and deployed quickly. The design choices being made today will directly impact our nation’s industries and critical infrastructure sectors over the next several decades. S&T’s Cyber Security Division (CSD) recently launched the CPSSEC project that aims to “build security into” emerging CPS designs.

“Modern vehicles are no longer purely mechanical systems,” said Dr. Dan Massey, S&T CPSSEC Program Manager. “Today’s vehicles have interdependent cyber components used for telematics, conveniences, and safety-critical systems. A stealthy adversary could gain access to a vehicle’s cyber components and remain completely hidden until initiating a widespread attack.”

The HRL team, led by David Payton, proposes to design a system to detect cyber-physical inconsistencies. By detecting structural disturbances, the approach can provide an effective early warning signal in the event of an attack. S&T CSD is partnering with the United Kingdom's Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) on this effort.

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

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