DARPA, which stands for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, is giving $21 million in funding for a company called Invincea. The grant prompts Invincea to address security issues in Android, allowing the OS to be more suitable for use in the military.
Perhaps to a degree higher than ordinary civilians, members of the military are in great risk from attacks from hackers and cyber criminals. Today, many soldiers use custom-made and military-grade Android smartphones for tasks such as real-time mapping and data overlay. With the devices, they can help attend to injuries in the field by accessing lab information.
Engineer soldiers use the camera on the smartphones to capture images of broken mechanical parts, facilitating their replacement. The smartphones likewise help identify whether other people are allies or not. Truly, the devices have proven themselves useful in the fields, but the lack of tight security on the OS has caused some alarm. Given the adequate knowhow, Android OS may be penetrated and its contents divulged to adversaries, placing the military in great risk.
In the past, Invincea has already been successful with one project that encrypted the OS and placed worthless data in the devices. The technology is now in use in Afghanistan by around 3,000 members of the military. Another project creates a virtual space where users can run apps such as Facebook without giving away their location and other important military information.
Invincea adopts a three-fold protection scheme that includes detection, prevention, and intelligence. The first identifies malware, bring to an end to the threat, and collect details about the attack in their database to be able to study it further and offer better protection for it in the future. Invincea also works with companies like McAfee ePO, NetWitness, ArcSight, Splunk, and Q1 Radar to ensure holistic protection against threats.
To date, Invincea has not made the military technologies available to the public. However, they have some protection solutions for corporations as well as personal use.