DARPA program is applying systematic functional grammars to increase cyber resiliency

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Grammar-Based Elicitation and Analysis of Requirements for Cyber Assured Systems Engineering (GearCASE) effort, Charles River Analytics Inc. is applying systemic functional grammars to increase cyber resilience.

Charles River Analytics is leading the GearCASE effort with Rockwell Collins and Skaion. The contract is valued at $3.2 million with options.

The effort stems from DARPA’s Cyber Assured Systems Engineering (CASE) program, which seeks to develop techniques that treat cyber resiliency as a first-class system requirement. The goal of cyber resilience is to avoid or mitigate cyberattacks.

“Under DARPA’s CASE program, we’re automatically generating formally-verifiable cybersecurity requirements—essentially eliminating vulnerabilities during the design phase,” says Dr. Terry Patten, Principal Scientist at Charles River. “We’re building on our success under DARPA’s VET program, where sophisticated grammar formalisms from linguistics proved to be an effective, compact representation of the attack space. Under VET, we used these grammars to represent potential vulnerabilities of an existing system; under CASE, we’re using them to represent potential vulnerabilities of a to-be-designed system.”