DARPA is using the Oculus Rift to up it’s Cyberwarfare ante

Photo: Andy Greenberg/WIRED

If you like Virtual Reality, you may want to check out Rifting Reality: An all new blog pioneering longform VR Journalism. 

Virtual Reality is approaching fast – There is no denying it: The Oculus Rift had kickstarted the revival of Virtual Reality and with players such as Sony joining the fray, Virtual Reality is gaining steam.

Virtual Reality has found many uses: Gaming, Pilot Training, Health, etc and as Virtual Reality matures, many more uses are being found.

DARPA, the one behind such important technological developments such as the Internet is trying to up its Cyberwarfare ante using the Oculus Rift VR headset.

Hacking has proven to be a skill that has been increasingly needed in recent years. Unfortunately, it is also difficult.

Many don’t know how to code. Of those who know, few are experienced enough to excel in the field of hacking. DARPA recognizes this problem and is working towards making hacking easier, even fun using the Oculus Rift.

Essentially, what is being done is that people are put in a Virtual World, where they can spot vulnerabilities in software. In the words of Wired, which was there at the demo:

“The agency is experimenting with using the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset to give cyberwarriors a new way to visualize three-dimensional network simulations–in some cases with the goal of better targeting them for attack.”

There has been a gamification of the process, to make hacking more engaging, instead of the old process of scanning through lines and lines of code spotting vulnerabilities.

The end goal for this undertaking is to make hacking much more simpler. To prevent reckless hacking, safeguards will be there.

Photo: Andy Greenberg/WIRED

When you look at the process, it pretty much mirrors the structure of a game.  You have to choose between certain missions and the mission you choose will contain a series of actions you have to follow. Equipped with an Oculus Rift and two Razer Hydra controllers for navigation, you are put into a virtual world, which is actually a visual simulation of a network to spot out the vulnerabilities and exploit them.

The demo was created with design firm Frog Design and Intifuc, which specializes in simulation software.

“You’re not in a two-dimensional view, so you can look around the data. You look to your left, look to your right, and see different subnets of information,” Darpa’s Plan X program manager Frank Pound told WIRED, “With the Oculus you have that immersive environment. It’s like you’re swimming in the internet.”

The technology by no means is fully developed. It is still under development and getting it into the hands of soldiers still seems years away.

It is a new and interesting use for Virtual Reality and also offers a different perspective for hacking. Now instead of learning to code meticulously, you can just strap on an Oculus Rift headset and spot vulnerabilities the DARPA way. However the downside of making hacking easier is that now everyone can hack and that means an increase in hacking cases. Though safeguards will be implemented, the concerns are still there.

Sources: Wired

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