IARPA in the News 2015


The intelligence community will host a meeting next month to brief IT firms on research into insider threat monitoring systems.

The conference, to be hosted by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA), will provide background for an upcoming solicitation on the Scientific Advances to Continuous Insider Threat Evaluation (SCITE) program.

The SCITE program seeks to develop and test methods to detect insider threats through two separate research tracks, IARPA said.


The BRAIN Initiative℠ goal is to develop neurotechnologies that will enable scientists “to map the circuits of the brain, measure the fluctuating patterns of electrical and chemical activity flowing within those circuits, and understand how their interplay creates our unique cognitive and behavioral capabilities.” On March 4, 2015 the NIH BRAIN Multi-Council Working Group (MCWG) met for the second time to discuss current BRAIN Initiative activities, new funding opportunity announcements, and strategic planning for the future of the NIH BRAIN Initiative efforts. The BRAIN MCWG includes one member of the Advisory Council from each of the 10 NIH Institutes and Centers that contribute to the NIH BRAIN Initiative. In addition, at-large members are appointed to supplement MCWG expertise, and ex officio members are appointed from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) – NIH’s four federal partners involved in The BRAIN Initiative℠. The purpose of the MCWG is to provide oversight for the long-term scientific vision of The BRAIN Initiative℠ and serve as a forum for initial “concept clearance” or the review of ideas for new initiatives before they become funding announcements.

Intelligence Community News

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) will host a Proposers’ Day conference for the Scientific advances to Continuous Insider Threat Evaluation (SCITE) program on 16 April 2015, in anticipation of the release of a new solicitation in support of the program. The conference will be held from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The purpose of the conference will be to provide introductory information on SCITE and the research problems that the program aims to address, to respond to questions from potential proposers, and to provide a forum for potential proposers to present their capabilities and identify potential team partners.

Science Express

Quantum annealers use quantum fluctuations to escape local minima and find low energy configurations of a physical system. Strong evidence for superiority of quantum annealing has come from comparing quantum annealing implemented through quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) simulations to classical annealing. Motivated by recent experiments we revisit the question of when quantum speedup may be expected. Even though, for two-dimensional Ising spin glasses, a better scaling is seen for quantum annealing, this advantage is due to time discretization artifacts and measurements which are not possible on a physical quantum annealer. Simulations in the physically relevant continuous time limit, on the other hand, do not show superiority. Our results imply that care has to be taken when using QMC simulations to assess potential for quantum speedup.

Midsize Insider

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), which conducts research for the U.S. intelligence community, is heading up a program called the Cyber-attack Automated Unconventional Sensor Environment (CAUSE). The goal of CAUSE is predicting and preventing cyberattacks by seeking out early indicators of cyberattacks, including monitoring cybercriminals who purchase malicious software or research a target online.

The long lead time between when an attacker performs reconnaissance and when they attack is critical, because firms simply cannot wait for an attack to happen before outlining a response plan. Researchers are also using big data and predictive analytics to develop new detection technologies that garner clues from around the Internet to indicate a malicious incident is in the works.

The research, featured in HS Today, highlights several key concepts relevant to midsize business. For one, security continues to be a major, if not top, concern for firms of all sizes. Smaller businesses have more to lose from a cyberattack since they have limited resources compared to larger enterprises. Secondly, identifying successful ways to thwart cybercrime can lead to more complete security solutions in an age of continuously evolving threats.