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Akita: Software Situational Awareness for End-node Authentication

Award Information

Department of Defense
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2008 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Pikewerks Corporation
105 A Church Street Madison, AL -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2008
Title: Akita: Software Situational Awareness for End-node Authentication
Agency / Branch: DOD / OSD
Contract: FA8650-08-C-1365
Award Amount: $743,227.00


Akita is a software-based situational awareness system that aids in the protection of sensitive applications by using inherent system characteristics to generate unique encryption/decryption keys. Similar to biometrics taken from humans, digital metrics can be used to create a unique fingerprint of a compute system, or network. The fingerprint generated can be used to unlock protected data or applications; eliminating the need to store a static key. The protection is keyed to the environment for which it was generated; therefore an attacker must be capable of recreating the environment to defeat the security. By using a dynamically generated key we are much less likely to fall into the break-once-break-often category that has plagued so many modern DRM solutions. Akita eliminates the need for key-files, key-fobs, or dongles that can be stolen and used to execute pirated copies of otherwise protected software. The result of Phase I was a prototype software solution capable of generating unique keys, binding sensitive applications to a specific state/host. In Phase II this system will be: 1) matured into a commercial product, 2) expanded to include new sensor and penalty capabilities, and 3) be adapted to support a collaborative network framework.

Principal Investigator:

Adam Bryant
Research Engineer

Business Contact:

Michael Ring
Small Business Information at Submission:

105 A Church Street Madison, AL 35758

EIN/Tax ID: 331040567
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No