The Navy kicked off the Artificial Intelligence Applications to Autonomous Cybersecurity Challenge (AI ATAC), a prize competition seeking innovative machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI) solutions for real-world cybersecurity challenges, July 8.
Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) and Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I) are sponsoring AI ATAC in part to gather insight and participation from nontraditional defense vendors, teams or individuals. While other government agencies have used prize challenges, this is a first for the NAVWAR enterprise.
The first place entry will win $100,000. Second place will be awarded $50,000.
“We are approaching innovation with disciplined urgency,” said NAVWAR Commander Rear Adm. Christian Becker. “This prize challenge presents a unique opportunity to cast a wider net to get the best technology to the fleet faster.”
Managed by PEO C4I’s Information Assurance and Cyber Security Program Office (PMW 130), AI ATAC will explore the capability for endpoint security products to incorporate ML/AI models to detect and defeat indicators of compromise from various advanced malware strains. The program office partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a Department of Energy laboratory in Tennessee, that will provide facilities and expertise for evaluating the technical solutions.
The challenge is open to all U.S. citizens and those with permanent residence status. The open period for submissions is through September 30. To be considered for the prizes, entrants need to provide an endpoint security solution and a white paper for evaluation. Winners are expected to be announced in December.
“We need to get after faster solutions from sectors of industry outside our traditional partners and we want to lower any barrier to entry. We believe by sponsoring AI ATAC we can quickly get new ideas about how we can incorporate AI and ML into our cybersecurity tool bag,” said John T. Armantrout, PMW 130’s deputy program manager. “This challenge is designed for anyone with AI and ML knowledge—whether they’re from a company, a university, a research institution or even an individual or group of friends who have a good idea.”
To learn more about the AI ATAC, including rules, criteria and eligibility requirements, visit
All questions regarding the challenge should be directed to AIATAC.PRIZE.CHALLENGE@NAVY.MIL.
PEO C4I provides integrated communication and information technology systems that enable information warfare and command and control of maritime forces. The command acquires, fields and supports C4I systems which extend across Navy, joint and coalition platforms.
NAVWAR identifies, develops, delivers and sustains information warfighting capabilities and services that enable naval, joint, coalition and other national missions operating in warfighting domains from seabed to space. NAVWAR consists of more than 11,000 active duty military and civil service professionals located around the world and close to the fleet to keep NAVWAR at the forefront of research, engineering and acquisition to provide and sustain information warfare capabilities to the fleet. For more information, visit http://www.navwar.navy.mil.