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News reaction: White House announces AI Cyber Challenge (AIxCC) at Black Hat USA

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News reaction: White House announces AI Cyber Challenge (AIxCC) at Black Hat USA

This week at the Black Hat USA Conference in Las Vegas, the White House announced its AI Cyber Challenge (AIxCC) with the goal of helping fix software vulnerabilities and enhance cyber security using AI.

AI companies including Anthropic, Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI are involved and with a prize pool of nearly $20 million, the competition certainly makes it attractive to entrants looking to play their part in finding innovative ways to identify and fix software vulnerabilities using AI.

The announcement states that the competition “… will demonstrate the potential benefits of AI to help secure software used across the internet and throughout society, from the electric grids that power America to the transportation systems that drive daily life.

Thomas Atkinson, Managing Security Consultant at NCC Group shares thoughts on the announcement:

“Government funding for research into solving security issues in and with emerging technologies has the potential to help push forward the boundary of our understanding and capabilities in very meaningful ways. This is potentially such a key point in our history.

There is plenty of existing prior research into using machine learning in both static and dynamic analysis of code and this is an area that is only continuing to grow both in its design and its use within the enterprise application and software development lifecycle (CI/CD and SDLC) pipeline. However, as NCC Group Chief Scientist, Chris Anley outlined in his blog post Security Code Review With ChatGPT (, there are several fundamental issues with trying to apply LLMs (such as ChatGPT) to code review.

Given the sponsors involved and the current trends around generative AI, it will be interesting to see how people choose to apply machine learning in this context and how valid their results will be should they chose to attempt to apply generative AI models. Hopefully this funding will help invigorate research in this space and create meaningful innovations.

There is definitely some great potential to be had from this initiative and it’s great to see the US government supplying funding at a potentially pivotal time in our lives. Let’s watch this space.”




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