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Countermeasures to Covert Access Methods to Reduce Attack Susceptibility and…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / 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 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Countermeasures to Covert Access Methods to Reduce Attack Susceptibility and Ensure Trust
Agency / Branch: DOD / OSD
Contract: FA8650-10-M-1764
Award Amount: $99,780.00


The majority of existing computer security products and software development efforts have assumed that the OS kernel, firmware, and low-level subsystems of the underlying computer architecture are trusted entities. However, recent demonstrations of novel and sophisticated attacks on several fundamental components found in standard laptops, desktops, and servers have emphasized that the foundations of trust upon which critical systems are built must be thoroughly re-examined. Pikewerks proposes to address deep-level vulnerabilities within computer systems through the development of a novel proactive monitoring approach for detecting and preventing even the most sophisticated covert access methods from achieving successful exploitation. Our approach seeks to prevent attacks by malicious insiders, intelligence operatives, or other sophisticated saboteurs that subvert core processing capabilities of a computer system by attacking low-level components such as maintenance processor modes (SMM), BIOS modules, hardware-assisted hypervisors, and peripheral firmware. The result of this Phase I effort will be a security design and proof-of-concept implementation that reduces a system's susceptibility to low-level exploits while also providing high assurance that the fundamental components and devices of the computer system are operating in a trustworthy manner.

Principal Investigator:

Jim Spadaro
Research Engineer

Business Contact:

Sandy 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