26 July 2017

Army opens cybersecurity research laboratory

The collaborative space at the Army Research Laboratory's cyber-research analytics laboratory is expected to become increasingly important as wars shift to the cyber realm, Army officials said on Friday. 

July 21 (UPI) — A new laboratory that provides access to sensitive, live cybersecurity data has been opened by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, the Army announced on Friday.

Access to the Army Cyber-research Analytics Laboratory, or ACAL , and it’s data will be the Department of Defense’s industrial and federally funded partners, including universities.

The Army Research Laboratory said the facility in Maryland opened earlier this week. It houses three distributed computation clusters, the largest of which is configured with over two petabytes of raw storage, over 20 terabytes of RAM, over 1,500 CPU cores and 10- to 40-gigabyte networking.

ACAL relies on technologies most familiar to researchers, analytic developers and data scientists, such as Hadoop, Elasticsearch, R, Spark, Storm, Accumulo and Kafka among them.

Akhilomen O. Oniha, lead of the Technical Architecture Team for the ARL project said in a press release that the “degree of high-performance computing and analytic development technology will facilitate the rapid development and deployment of cutting-edge analytic capabilities to meet the warfighter’s operational mission needs in the cyber realm.”

According to Oniha, researchers can expect to be able to access the laboratory physically or remotely to assess emerging cyber threats such as hackings and communication jams, and quickly develop and deploy cyberanalytic capabilities that limit lateral propagation of hostile malware.

The Army Research Laboratory has been formally identified in the Department of Defense Cybersecurity Services program as having top cybersecurity capabilities. Its cyber-security research is largely focused on challenges unique to Army ground operations.

Army officials say that as war continues to shift further in the cyber domain, ACAL will become a necessary ARL resource to perform foundational research and provide analytic capabilities across ARL, the Army Cyber Command and their partners.

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