Morphing Computer Hardware Confounds Hackers

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We know the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — or, DARPA — has its hands in a lot of unique and exciting projects. The organization dates back to the Sputnik-era in the 1950s and since then its hundreds of employees apply cutting-edge technology in an attempt to solve national security issues for the U.S. government. It’s no secret that cybersecurity incidents have been on the rise, and DARPA recently reported that it’s made an interesting breakthrough that hopes to thwart even the smartest hackers. In 2017, the agency teamed up with the University of Michigan to help develop a computer processor designed to change its microarchitecture at random every few seconds. Dubbed “Morpheus,” this hardware layer was created in order to stay a step ahead of hackers trying to exploit bugs in even the most vulnerable software. Recently, a months-long test program took Morpheus to prime time, where more than 500 professional hackers participated in what’s been described as a “bug bounty program” where they tried to breach Morpheus and other processors.

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