Tandon in the News

Pentagon-funded games would crowdsource weapons testing


The Pentagon plans to fork over $32 million to develop "fun to play" computer games that can refine the way weapons systems are tested to ensure they are free from software errors and security bugs, according to a Defense Department solicitation.

The goal is to create puzzles that are "intuitively understandable by ordinary people" and could be solved on laptops, smartphones, tablets and consoles. The games' solutions will be collected into a database and used to improve methods for analyzing software, according to the draft request for proposals put out by the military's venture capital and research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

If players know a game is mapped to a weapons system's software, there's the alarming possibility that they could rig its results. "They could collude and play the game to show there are no security problems," said Nasir Memon, director of the Information Systems and Internet Security Laboratory at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. "How can you trust results from that?