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IARPA Awards Contracts to Study Hacker Psychology – MeriTalk | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) – the research and development arm of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence – has awarded four-year contracts to five companies to help kickstart a new project to study the psychology of hackers and to determine how to better blunt attacks.

The program – Reimagining Security with Cyberpsychology-Informed Network Defenses (ReSCIND) –  will focus on studying malicious hackers’ innate and decision-making biases and cognitive vulnerabilities.

“While attackers take advantage of human errors, most cyber defenses do not similarly exploit attackers’ cognitive weaknesses — ReSCIND strives to flip this paradigm,” stated the agency.

“By combining traditional cybersecurity practices with the emerging field of cyberpsychology, IARPA is set to engineer a first-of-its-kind cyber technology that makes an attacker’s job that much harder,’ added the agency.

Teams awarded research contracts include:

  • Charles River Analytics, Inc;
  • GrammaTech, Inc;
  • Peraton Labs;
  • Raytheon Technologies Research Center; and
  • SRI International;

As part of the program, testing and evaluation will be conducted by the University of Maryland Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and MITRE.

“ReSCIND will enable the Intelligence Community’s cyber defenders to penalize attackers with the costs of wasted time and effort, which will delay, and potentially thwart, attacks and more rapidly expose the identities behind them,” said ReSCIND Program Manager Dr. Kimberly Ferguson-Walter.

“This novel approach of focusing on the human behind the attack will significantly enhance our layered cyber defenses,” Ferguson-Walter said.

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