DHS announces firmware security grant to Intelligent Automation

Yesterday the DHS announced a contract with Intelligent Automation (i-a-i.com) to work on methods to safeguard firmware, and other code in mobile devices. DHS press release excerpt:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) today announced a $1.2 million cybersecurity Mobile Technology Security (MTS) research and development (R&D) award that will help secure mobile devices for the federal government. The Broad Agency Announcement HSHQDC-14-R-B0015, issued by the S&T Cyber Security Division, awarded the contract to Intelligent Automation, Inc. (IAI) of Rockville, Md. to work on mobile security research in device layer protection. “Ensuring that mobile devices used across the public and private sector are secure is a priority for S&T,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “This project will provide an innovative solution for protecting mobile devices from malicious activity.” The MTS award is a part of the Mobile Device Security (MDS) R&D project which aims to accelerate the adoption of secure mobility by government and private sector organizations. The MDS project is developing R&D technologies in mobile device instrumentation, transactional security methods, mobile security management tools and mobile device layer protection.   The mobile device layer protection project will evaluate innovative approaches to protect mobile-device layers – such as firmware, operating system, applications and identity – against infections by malicious applications. IAI will implement a software security solution called TRUsted Monitor and Protection for the multicore Advanced RISC Machines (ARM) platform in an effort to severely impact an attacker’s ability to operate in existing and future mobile devices.