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DARPA challenges hackers to weaponise benign devices

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a competition to identify how relatively benign technologies and code could be turned into serious security threats.

Dubbed “Improv”, DARPA will bring together experts across multiple disciplines to “look at today's bustling tech marketplace with an inventor's eye and imagine how easily purchased, relatively benign technologies might be converted into serious security threats”.

Last year, DARPA invited proposals from the cyber-security community on how to build better defences against DDoS attacks. Improv will be overseen by DARPA's program manager John Main. He said that it was being launched “in recognition that strategic surprise can also come from more familiar technologies, adapted and applied in novel ways”.

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