DHS Awards Intafel $168K to Develop Virtual Machine Capability

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded Intafel Corp. of Cambridge, Massachusetts $167,870 to develop a virtual machine capability to protect the operations of financial services.

Intafel received a Phase I award under the entities through the Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) Financial Services Cyber Security Active Defense solicitation, which sought solutions to cybersecurity threats challenging the nation’s financial institutions. Under Phase I, Intafel will develop a proof-of-concept for its proposed technology, Solitare, a customized, slimmed-down virtual machine capability that can serve as the default program for multiple kinds of files. This project proposes the development of a Moving Target Defense capability that incorporates different virtual machines and different methods of isolation that are chosen at random, which increases uncertainty and complexity for attackers, reduces their window of opportunity to attack and increases the costs of their attack efforts. This makes a system that is expensive for attackers to penetrate, while being easy to deploy, compatible with legacy hardware and software, and less expensive and safer for users than legacy products.

A virtual machine operates as a second computer within a computer’s primary operating system, keeping malware and cyberattacks in a segregated environment where they can be tested and destroyed. Virtual machines often require considerable processing power to operate. Intafel’s project envisions reducing operating cost, while maintaining a high standard of security for users. 

“Intafel’s project has the potential to greatly simplify the use of virtual machines through the integration of Solitare with all file types and programs,” said Melissa Oh, SVIP Managing Director. “We are excited to see how this technology will develop over the first phase of SVIP.”

Companies participating in the SVIP are eligible for up to $800,000 in non-dilutive funding to adapt commercial technologies for homeland security use-cases.

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