Cyber security in recent years has become a particularly relevant area for investment not only for large corporations, but also for the military. In the light of recent events, when the WannaCry worm suddenly destroyed more than 300,000 computers around the world, you involuntarily start to think about what would be nice to protect yourself as much as possible from such a development of events. In the US military agency, DARPA also take this issue very seriously. That’s why the military resumed work on the frozen project, code-named Morpheus, whose goal is to create a computer that can not be hacked.
The Morpheus project is part of the DARPA initiative in the field of computer security, which has been allocated 50 million dollars. The executors in this case are scientists from the University of Michigan who are developing a security system that is not based on software, as is usually the case, but is embedded in the iron components of the system. It is understandable, because such viruses as WannaCry and NotPetya, used software vulnerabilities in older versions of the operating systems of the Windows family. Hackers often use such loopholes to gain control over the systems of their victims. In this case, the malicious code will be simply useless.
“Instead of relying on software, we decided to resort to a different approach and implement everything on the hardware level. Thus, we hope to make traditional methods of hacking completely ineffective, “explains Linton Salmon, the head of the DARPA program called System Security Integrated Through Hardware and Firmware (SSITH).
The money allocated for the SSITH program was divided between nine grants. Scientists from the University of Michigan received 3.6 million dollars. The Morpheus system is a hardware that regularly and randomly copies and deletes data in the computer’s memory, permanently destroying their previous versions. Not only data will be constantly moving. Any loophole that hackers could use under normal conditions will also be a “moving target.” Even if a hacker manages to find a vulnerability, it will immediately move, which will make it unavailable for use.
“Typically, the location of data in the computer’s memory does not change. So when a hacker solves this puzzle and finds an entry into the system, we can assume that he won. We are trying to create a computer that is an unsolvable puzzle. Imagine a Rubik’s cube, the location of the faces of which changes every time you blink. This is how our system works, “- says one of the developers of Morpheus Todd Austin.