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Symbiote Technology to Repair Vulnerable Firmware

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W31P4Q-13-C-0165
Agency Tracking Number: D131-003-0008
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: SB131-003
Solicitation Number: 2013.1
Solicitation Year: 2013
Award Year: 2013
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2013-04-30
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2014-01-31
Small Business Information
501 W 123rd Street Apt 8A
New York, NY -
United States
DUNS: 078682097
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Ang Cui
 (646) 573-2547
Business Contact
 Salvatore Stolfo
Title: Director
Phone: (201) 906-3438
Research Institution

The goal of our work is to defend (legacy) embedded systems firmware with entirely new defensive capabilities proven up in prior DARPA-sponsored research at Columbia University. We invented the Software Symbiote, a host-based defensive technology that injects intrusion detection functionality within the firmware of a (legacy) embedded system and that senses the unauthorized modification of the device firmware. FRAK, a firmware reverse engineering and analysis console, developed by Red Balloon Security under a prior DARPA Cyber Fast Track SBIR Phase 1 contract, provides the means of injecting protective Symbiote technology into any proprietary firmware. Symbiote payloads are presently designed to perform identification of firmware vulnerabilities immediately upon a successful exploitation and firmware modification. However,"repair payloads"that excise the malicious code deposited by a real attack, and replacement of the vulnerable code segment to avoid re-exploitation in an endless DOS loop are yet to be fully explored and demonstrated. The proposed Phase 1 SBIR work is thus focused on the design and specification of the repair of the exploited firmware and its means of being delivered to arbitrary embedded devices via a FRAK-enabled environment.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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