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Doing work that matters by focusing our time and energy on high-priority undertakings.

Projects

Undertakings where DDS develops and delivers technology to solve a problem in the DoD. Teams are staffed according to technical needs and the project ends with the successful transition of technology back to the host organization. Recent examples include:

MySymptoms.mil

DDS designed MySymptoms.mil specifically for the DoD community to check and assess COVID-19 symptoms. MySymptoms.mil was created at the direction of the Secretary of Defense.

MySymptoms.mil is an anonymous tool designed with DoD personnel in mind. It does not diagnose disease but assesses the likelihood someone may have COVID-19 based on a series of simple health-related questions, and then provides information on how to seek further advice. MySymptoms.mil was built on a .mil domain to ensure the DoD community can access it regardless of the network they use.

Project Holocron

In collaboration with the Department of the Navy and the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), DDS developed the real-time ability to detect and evaluate threats posed by small-Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS). The threat posed by sUAS in the homeland is different than in theater, with recreational and commercial sUAS traffic common and currently indistinguishable from actual threats. Project Holocron assists warfighters in understanding what they are seeing, helps developers build defeat capabilities based on what is actually flying, and enables program offices to resource systems based on validated analysis. This project was DDS’s first collaboration with the Navy.

Crossfeed

As evidenced by the success of the DoD Vulnerability Disclosure Program, no single DoD entity has a complete understanding of DoD’s attack surface. External researchers, who can identify vulnerabilities better than any internal resources, are underutilized. Crossfeed, equal parts infrastructure and data analysis, was launched in February 2020 to bridge the gap between what external researchers can discover and what DoD can internally detect in an automated fashion. Through a better understanding of DoD’s internet presence at scale, Crossfeed identifies vulnerable servers and data exposure. It provides indicators that inform further security testing and the structuring of new assessments.

DHA Joint Pathology Center

DDS kicked off a Discovery Sprint in March 2020 with the Defense Health Agency (DHA) Joint Pathology Center (JPC) focused on digitizing, data tagging, and AI/ML associated with one of the world's largest tissue slide repositories. The JPC is home to over 55 million glass slides dating back over 100 years. The Discovery Sprint determined that to successfully build a repository for researchers, JPC had to decide on a digitization strategy, procure sufficient IT infrastructure for the job, which it lacked, and correct data quality and access issues that were potential hindrances to throughput. Following the delivery of its report, DDS began working with JPC to implement a finalized digitization strategy in June 2020.

Sentinel

Emerging threats leverage the Domain Name Service (DNS) during the course of malware campaigns. The DoD lacks the infrastructure to detect, mitigate, and evolve with these techniques. The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) maintains the Enterprise Resolution Service (ERS) to provide outbound DNS for DoD, NIPRNet, and other unclassified DoD networks (collectively the DoDIN). Queries sent to the service are not stored in persistent logs for subsequent analysis. Methods for executing domain blacklisting/whitelisting are both largely manual and based on bespoke sources. Adversaries commonly make use of DNS for botnet C2 and data exfiltration while constantly evolving their attack signatures. Systems connected to the DoDIN that are vulnerable to foreign intelligence collection, exploitation, and intellectual property theft.

Incorporating an architecture commonly found in the private sector, DDS is creating a centralized outbound DNS resolution service that combines commercial DNS solutions with threat intelligence from the intelligence community to provide an automated response. This project is a collaboration with the Army.

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