DARPA has tapped well-respected hacker Peiter Zatko, commonly known as Mudge, to be the program manager in the Strategic Technologies Office. He will be in charge of funding research that is meant to help the federal government defend against cyber attacks.
He will enter into his new position in March. Zatko told Cnet in an interview a major goal of his is to fund small-end individual enterprises he feels are more likely to develop technologies quicker.
“I want revolutionary changes. I don’t want evolutionary ones,” he said.
Zatko also expressed his concern with the current state of cybersecurity.
“As a society, we have a larger dependence on being wired in, yet the government only focuses on particular areas,” he said. “I’m going to argue that they’re all pretty much intertwined now and we’ve seen how vulnerable some of those sectors are now. That’s unacceptable. I aim to fix that.”
He also advocated for changing the manner in which the nation deals with cyber attacks. The current model is based on responding to attacks. Zatko wants the defense model to shift to blocking attacks as they happen.
“I don’t want people to be putting out virus signatures after a virus has come out,” he said. “I want an active defense. I want to be at the sharp pointy end of the stick.”