MacB Presenting White Paper on Risk Assessment of FPGA Firmware Exposure to Malicious Functionality


DAYTON, OHIO, March 10, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MacAulay-Brown, Inc. (MacB), a leading National Security company delivering advanced engineering services and product solutions, today announced that employees from its Secure Computing and Communications (SCC) Division will present a White Paper entitled, “Vetting FPGA Firmware for Commodity Devices,” on Wednesday, March 16 at the 2016 Government Microcircuit Applications & Critical Technology (GOMACTech) conference. The event is scheduled from March 14-17, 2016 at the Orlando Wyndham Resort in Orlando, Florida. 

Established in 1968, GOMACTech is a conference to review developments in microcircuit applications for government systems. Over the years, it has focused on advances in systems developed by the Department of Defense and other agencies, and has been used to announce major microelectronics initiatives and provide a forum for reviews. 

The White Paper will be presented by Dr. Scott Harper, a member of MacB’s SCC team based in Roanoke, Virginia. It will cover the approach and technologies being developed in a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program for the Department of Defense (DoD).  

The DoD relies on many commercial off-the shelf commodity IT devices including mobile phones, network routers, printers, alarm systems and other equipment that utilize CPU and FPGA firmware. In order to address the threat of hidden malicious functionality, DARPA created the Vetting Commodity IT Software and Firmware (VET) program. The goal for the MacB effort is to prove the feasibility of solving the firmware vetting and work toward a cohesive end-to-end solution.  

“We are proud of the creative engineering solutions our team has developed while working on the VET program, the results of which clearly address current DoD needs for deploying assured electronic systems,” said John Hallman, Program Manager for MacB’s Secure Computing and Communications Division in Roanoke. “Trust in the microelectronics supply chain continues to be a problem for the DoD, so our White Paper presentation and display will demonstrate our significant progress in protecting microelectronic devices and IP from untrusted sources.” 

For more than 36 years, MacAulay-Brown, Inc. (MacB) has been solving some of the Nation’s most complex National Security challenges. Defense, Intelligence Community, Special Operations Forces, Homeland Security and Federal agencies rely on our advanced engineering services and product solutions to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world. With Corporate Headquarters in Dayton, Ohio and National Capital Headquarters in Vienna, Virginia, our more than 1,500 employees worldwide are dedicated to developing mission focused and results-oriented solutions that make a difference where and when it matters most. Learn more about MacB at 

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