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By Clare O’Gara
Fri | Aug 2, 2019 | 4:31 AM PDT

The U.S. Department of Defense is looking for a million dollar idea.

Or, at least a 100 thousand dollar idea. And you could be the one to give it to them.

What is the Artificial Intelligence Applications to Autonomous Cybersecurity Challenge?

(Or, in shorter terms, the AI ATAC Challenge.)

The Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWARSYSCOM) and the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (PEO C4I) for the U.S. government are looking to automate their Security Operations Center (SOC). They're hoping to use AI and Machine Learning, beginning with the endpoint.

Long story short, the military is searching for an AI to automate cybersecurity, and they're soliciting submissions.

Here's what the DOD has to say about its AI "Attack" Challenge:

Modern malware strains, especially sophisticated malware created by advanced persistent threat (APT) groups, have shown capabilities that mutate faster than signature-based protection tools can adapt.

The Challenge evaluation will focus on AI/ML technologies that detect malware on an endpoint.

NAWARSYSCOM may award, pursuant to Title 10 U.S.C. § 2371b, a follow-on production contract or transaction to one or more participants who successfully demonstrated an effective AI/ML approach under this Challenge.

Don't forget... they're offering a cash prize for this AI

If you need more motivation to help secure U.S. tech, the government is willing to pay a pretty penny for submissions.

To be exact, 10 million pretty pennies.

The AI Attack Challenge is offering prizes for first and second place winners:

NAVWARSYSCOM has established $150,000 as the total amount set aside for cash prizes under this Challenge.

A $100,000 first place cash prize will be awarded to the winning entry. A $50,000 second place cash prize will be awarded to the second place winner. 

In the unlikely event of a tie, NAVWARSYSCOM will determine an equitable method of distributing the cash prizes.

Do you have what it takes to win the reward?

Submissions for the challenge are open until September 30, 2019.

For full contest details, check out the page here.

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