Military Embedded Systems

Cybersecurity the focus of two DARPA contracts granted to Perspecta Labs


October 23, 2020

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

CHANTILLY, Va. Perspecta Labs -- the applied research arm of Perspecta Inc. -- received two awards on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Open, Programmable, Secure 5G (OPS-5G) program to perform work to improve the security of 5G networks.

The awards have a combined maximum of $25 million, with a four-year period of performance if all options are exercised.

Perspecta Labs will design, develop, integrate, and demonstrate a security solution that is scalable for devices running 5G ranging from IoT sensors to servers; it will use a certain set of techniques to deliver real-time, distributed defense-in-depth cybersecurity for 5G, 6G, and beyond. According to a company announcement, Perspecta Labs' solution implements a zero-trust, distributed security architecture that operates across the varied IoT and network devices, with emphasis on reducing the burden of remote attestation and cryptographic computation. 

The OPS-5G program intends to improve the security of 5G networks -- which pose a significant security risk due to the proliferation of foreign and untrusted hardware devices -- through the creation of an architecture that decouples hardware and software ecosystems, which therefore enables secure operation over untrusted hardware and reduces the risk of supply chain attacks. OPS-5G also aims to provide security at scale for the growing number of sensors and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices that operate as part of 5G networks.

"While emerging mobile wireless networking technologies are poised to revolutionize industries from manufacturing, retail, and medicine to critical infrastructure, transportation, and defense, they also increase risks of supply-chain attacks and other malicious cyber exploits," said Petros Mouchtaris, Ph.D., president of Perspecta Labs. "Perspecta Labs looks forward to expanding its leadership in the development of secure 5G networks by developing a portable, standards-compliant network stack for 5G that is open, plug-and-play, and secure by design."

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