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Video: It's Machine against Machine at This Year's Cyber Grand Challenge

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What do hackers do at summer camp? Play capture the flag, of course. And this year, computers are getting in on the action instead of humans, for the first time at the Aug. 4 Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's Cyber Grand Challenge. 

Seven computers, or cyber-reasoning systems, have each been programmed by a team for a speed-driven, bug-hunting contest on binary code.

Learn more about the exact mechanics of the Capture the Flag game below:

The agency put out a call for applicants in 2013. After three qualifying rounds and a prize pool of more than $3 million, the stakes are high and competition is fierce. 

Ultimately though, the agency hopes the challenge will help stimulate the development of autonomy in cybersecurity.

"We're all in this together; we have to build defensible networks," said Mike Walker, program manager of CGC at DARPA. "Right now, as we want to put networked technologies into more and more things, we also have to find a way to make them safer, and it's a challenge for civilization."

To learn more about the contest and meet the teams, check out the video below from DARPA:

By Caitlin Fairchild August 1, 2016

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