The US government is serious about online security, just ask any one of its cyber commandos. Adding to its arsenal for battling the big bad hackers, Reuters reports that DARPA is working on a National Cyber Range, which would act a standalone internet simulation engine where digital warriors can be trained and experimental ideas tested out. Lockheed Martin and Johns Hopkins University are competing to provide the final system, with one of them expected to soon get the go-ahead for a one-year trial, which, if all goes well, will be followed by DARPA unleashing its techies upon the virtual firing range in earnest next year. The cost of the project is said to run somewhere near $130 million, which might have sounded a bit expensive before the recent spate of successful hacking attacks on high profile private companies, but now seems like a rational expenditure to ensure the nuclear missile codes and the people crazy enough to use them are kept at a safe distance from one another. DARPA has a pair of other cleverly titled cybersecurity schemes up its sleeve, called CRASH and CINDER, but you'll have to hit the source link to learn more about them.

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DARPA setting up a $130 million 'virtual firing range' to help battle cyber attacks