Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Charles River Analytics, developer of intelligent systems solutions, has announced a contract supporting the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) in predicting cyber attacks. These attacks are a growing problem that cause over $300 billion in system recovery and data losses each year. Predicting attacks before they occur would be a decisive advantage. IARPA is seeking the creation of automated methods to forecast and detect attacks in the Cyber-attack Automated Unconventional Sensor Environment (CAUSE) program. As part of this program, Charles River will lead a team to search for leading indicators of possible impending attacks. The Predictive System for Cyber Hostility using Integrated Computational Models, or PSYCHIC, contract has an eighteen-month base period of performance and two additional one-year options. With all options exercised, the contract is valued over $10.5 million.

“Under the PSYCHIC effort, we’re predicting cyber attacks against particular targets,” explained Dr. Amy Sliva, a Senior Scientist at Charles River and the Principal Investigator for the PSYCHIC effort. “The goal is to predict when a company or organization might be attacked and how, which enables them to take defensive measures ahead of time.”

Charles River is leading an interdisciplinary team of computer scientists, cyber security experts, cognitive scientists, natural language processing experts, and human factors experts across industry and academia. The team includes BBN Technologies, Battelle, Assured Information Security, the University of Utah, Arizona State University, and Professor Alexander Levis of George Mason University.

Charles River will draw on its expertise in ensemble modeling, natural language processing, cyber-attack modeling, and predictive analytics in the PSYCHIC effort. In part, the PSYCHIC solution will build upon malware models developed in the DARPA-funded MAAGI effort to predict the possible evolution of attacks and where they might occur. Charles River will also use its cyber modeling and reactive agent framework, CyMod, to predict idiosyncratic patterns of different kinds of cyber attacks.

“We are excited to work with this talented team on this challenging and important problem,” said Dr. Scott Neal Reilly, Vice President of Decision Management Systems at Charles River. “And we are happy to work on a new program with IARPA.”

PSYCHIC is Charles River’s most recent program effort with IARPA. Earlier this year, Charles River was awarded a contract as part of IARPA’s SCITE program to help predict the performance of enterprise-level analytic systems, and 2014, it was awarded a contract to lead a team to improve adaptive reasoning and problem solving under the SHARP program.


Predictive System for Cyber Hostility using Integrated Computational Models (PSyCHIC) is supported by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) via the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) contract number FA8750-16-C-0108. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright annotation thereon.

The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of ODNI, IARPA, AFRL, or the U.S. Government.

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