DARPA was paying $500k to an unknown company for keeping tabs on white hack hackers
DARPA is well known among the scientific community and Internet user for all the scientific stuff it has been doing. But nobody knew that DARPA was tasked by the United States government to keep tabs on white hat hackers.
According to a listing of contract award on FBO.gov, DARPA was apparently paying $500 to an unknown agency to spy on white hat hackers. DARPA made a mistake to publish details of this project.
The project called “Internet Cyber Early Warning of Adversary Research and Development” or ICEWARD appears to be designed to monitor the activities of information security researchers with the goal of anticipating what vulnerabilities they might be looking for. DARPA paid nearly $500,000 to an obscure contractor to develop the technology to make it a reality.
“Proposers hypothesize that vulnerability researchers make use of public information and resources (such as search engines and websites) that are relevant to their missions, targets, and techniques in such a way that it is possible to glean part of their intent if only we could observe such use and differentiate it from noise,” read the DARPA contract award.
DARPA scrubbed a page showing a $500k program to spy on security
researchers. The original: https://t.co/afxC1kgYbz pic.twitter.com/kG8cjYugFc
— EFF (@EFF) October 26, 2015
Immediately after the news was made public, several privacy activists took to Twitter to trounce it as a program to spy on security researchers.
DARPA awards 500k grant to spy on security vuln researchers. Seriously. (h/t/ @evacide) https://t.co/51cQHtJ4hY pic.twitter.com/w0Z5pW3hwo
— Christopher Soghoian (@csoghoian) October 26, 2015
After EFF tweeted it, DARPA pulled the notice of award for ICEWARD: a program to honeypot and/or spy on researchers. https://t.co/TQ9ifnygak
— Nate Cardozo (@ncardozo) October 26, 2015
DARPA did another mistake of pulling down the listing after it was made public by Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Dave Maass.
Would the new ICEWARD program spy on the online habits of vulnerability researchers? Serious question, @DARPA. https://t.co/H8Fxr17uJg
— Dave Maass ? (@maassive) October 26, 2015