Tech

Steve Kaaru

US Department of Defense exploring blockchain for secure messaging

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is starting to experiment with blockchain technology, a report published earlier this month revealed. The department intends to use blockchain in many applications, with secure messaging and the development of unhackable code being the first applications it intends to use blockchain for.

“Blockchains are a new information technology that inverts the cybersecurity paradigm,” the DoD states in its report. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is the research arm of the DoD has already started experimenting with the technology. It intends to create a robust, more efficient and secure platform “that will allow personnel from anywhere to transmit secure messages.”

DARPA also intends to use the blockchain platform to process transactions that can be traced through numerous channels of a decentralized ledger. Such a system can be applied in many ways including transmitting information between intelligence officers and the Pentagon as well as between units and headquarters.

The report further revealed, “DARPA also has been trying to develop an unhackable code—which blockchain could facilitate—because the technology offers intelligence on hackers who try to break into secure databases.”

The DoD pointed out some of the features of blockchain technology that make it suited for use in the military sector. They include its trustless nature which assumes anyone can compromise the network. Blockchain is also transparently secure, relying on “cryptographic data structure that makes tampering both exceptionally difficult and immediately obvious.”

The report continued, “Finally, blockchain networks are fault tolerant: they align the efforts of honest nodes to reject those that are dishonest. As a result, blockchain networks not only reduce the probability of compromise, but also impose significantly greater costs on an adversary to achieve it.”

In December last year, the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency, a division of the DoD, began looking into the use of blockchain in disaster management. As CoinGeek reported, the DLA stated that it was collecting as much information as it could in preparation for the deployment of a blockchain-based system to monitor the provision of assistance in areas affected by disasters.

The Department of Homeland Security also expressed an interest in blockchain technology last year. The department sought submissions from the public in its quest to develop forensic analysis tools for analyzing blockchain transactions.

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