DARPA Selects Hardware Security Company To Develop New Chip Vulnerability Testing Solution

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA has awarded a contract to hardware security company Tortuga Logic to develop a new solution for improving the security of computer chips on defense and commercial systems.

It picked Tortuga to design a new solution for testing chips that will be able to ensure protection from the new Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities earlier in the development life cycle.7436775

“More than ever, hardware designers need solutions to identify security vulnerabilities throughout the chip design life cycle, rather than post-fabrication or post-deployment. This contract with DARPA will allow Tortuga Logic to integrate our patented information flow technology with commercial emulation platforms, completing a full end-to-end design suite dedicated to security verification,” Jason Oberg, project lead and Tortuga CEO, said in a statement.

Tortuga will work on developing their proprietary hardware security model to work with commercial computer chip-testing platforms, known as emulation platforms.

The end result will be solutions available for commercial purchase that allow hardware designers to ensure their computer chips can withstand Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities before being deployed, according to the company.

Lawmakers have previously pressed officials from the top technology companies on the full extent to which Meltdown and Spectre might be affecting computer systems nearly a year after the vulnerabilities were first discovered (Defense Daily, January 24).

“With its products, Tortuga Logic enables a true hardware [software development life cycle] that prevents vulnerabilities like Meltdown and Spectre from ever seeing the light of day," Tortuga officials said in a statement.

Industry participants in DARPA’s System Security Integrated Through Hardware and Firmware (SSITH) program will receive early access to Tortuga’s new solution once it’s developed.

Tortuga’s move to broader-based emulation platforms solutions follows previous success with the aerospace and defense industry for their Prospect and Unison software suites, according to company officials.

The company’s new emulation platform solution is expected to be completed and available for purchase by the end of 2018.

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