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Darpa's Plan to Trap the Next WikiLeaker: Decoy Documents


WikiLeakers may have to think twice before clicking on that “classified” document. It could be the digital smoking gun that points back at them.

Darpa-funded researchers are building a program for “generating and distributing believable misinformation.” The ultimate goal is to plant auto-generated, bogus documents in classified networks and program them to track down intruders’ movements, a military research abstract reveals.

“We want to flood adversaries with information that’s bogus, but looks real,” says Salvatore Stolfo, the Columbia University computer science professor leading the project. “This will confound and misdirect them.” (You can make your own fake doc on the research lab’s website, too.)

The program aims to scare off uninvited riff-raff as well as minimize insider threats, one of the greatest vulnerabilities in military networks. Fake “classified” documents, when touched, will take a snapshot of the IP address of the intruder and the time it was opened, alerting a systems administrator of the breach.

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