Critical Infrastructure

Can the US bank on AI to stop financial hacks?

The Department of Homeland Security is investing in machine learning and automated technology to defend against malware in the financial sector, the agency announced in a July 2 statement.

The department invested $200,000 into the firm Cyber 20/20, which expands the capabilities of Cuckoo, an open-source sandbox that can detect and eliminate cyberattacks. In its program, Cyber 20/20 uses AI to respond to the malware, which has become “increasingly popular over the past decade,” according to Greg Wigton, DHS program manager.

A “sandbox” allows firms to place a piece of an operating system into a closed environment that prevents malware from spreading. Viruses can then be eliminated.

Cyber 20/20 also has “anti-anti-sandbox” capabilities, which can neutralize malware that intends to “circumvent sandbox protections,” according to the department.

The award was part of the agency’s Silicon Valley innovation program that invests up to $800,000 in American and international companies with less than 200 employees. The program has also provided seed money for companies that boost airport passenger processing, secure unmanned aircraft systems and secure internet of things devices.

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