Grant Funding Awarded to University of Michigan to Enhance Cyber Security
A team of computer scientists and engineers at the University of Michigan were recently tasked with creating an unhackable computer. The funding for the project was awarded to the school by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The total funding is approximately $3.6 million dollars. With the growing cyber security threats facing today’s home and business users, an unhackable computer seems like a legitimate idea.
The existing concept for Morpheus, or the unhackable computer, is the hard drive is intended to be programmed to continuously change file and vulnerability locations. Meaning, theoretically the hacker wouldn’t be able to locate files to encrypt or steal. Beyond moving the files, the previous version of the file is removed so there is no trace of it existing in a previous location. Also, if there were to be a security vulnerability, it would be consistently change locations as well. Therefore, if a hacker did find it, by the time they tried to exploit it — it would be moved to another location. This seems great, but there is still a major flaw.
This doesn’t stop the hackers from infecting the system with malware by exploiting human error. Now, one may think – even if malware is installed, it won’t be able to find the correct files to encrypt or corrupt. This may be true for a period of time, but wouldn’t that lead to cyber criminals casting a bigger net? Also, the user of the computer has to know where their files are stored. If the location is consistently changing, how would could they possibly know where its at? There must be some kind of way for the user to still access the files. If the user can find them, even after consistent shuffling, couldn’t a hacker?