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back to article DARPA, Microsoft, Lockheed team up to reinvent TCP/IP

Arms globocorp Lockheed Martin announced today that it has won a $31m contract from the famous Pentagon crazy-ideas bureau, DARPA, to reinvent the internet and make it more suitable for military use. Microsoft will also be involved in the effort. The main thrust of the effort will be to develop a new Military Network Protocol, …

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Gates Horns

Microsoft?

I wonder what their contribution will be? Microsoft Battlefield Explorer.... Clippy? "It looks like you're trying to dodge small arms fire, etc."

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Happy

& Microsoft ?

I presume microsft will supply the blue screens ?

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FAIL

Oooh dear

I doubt I'll be the first to mention this, but does the military really think getting Microsoft involved is a good idea given their track record?

If I were militarily minded, then I would be asking for an internet system that

1. Is secure

2. Is stable

3. Can withstand attacks

Microsoft are a shining example of total failure on all three counts (heck, even if you pull the network cable out, mostly fixing 1 and 3, you still don't get 2, and an off-network computer is probably not much good for internet use...)

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Anonymous Coward

Insecurity provider

Presumably Microsoft is involved to provide the insecure practices for this to circumvent?

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Excellent

I was always amused at how the MS idea of TCP/IP differed from the rest of the world (such as how many addresses would be available for hosts on a given subnet) I will await the outcome of the research.

This was based on answers which had to be given for MS qualifications that workmates where studying for (ir going through various braindumps)

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Gates Horns

Spot the odd one out...

1. DARPA

2. Microsoft

3. Lockheed

DARPA – for all the crazy ideas they have, some actually get to a state of useful fruition.

Lockheed have a track record with the odd stumble along the way.

And lastly.... Oh.

Errrr... can we have a tumbleweed icon please?

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Happy

So to sumarise

"reinvent the internet and make it more suitable for military use. Microsoft will also be involved"

= An oxymoron along the "military Intelligence" lines

"The main thrust of the effort will be to develop a new Military Network Protocol, which will differ from old hat such as TCP/IP in that it will offer "improved security, dynamic bandwidth allocation, and policy-based prioritization levels at the individual and unit level"."

= Just like TCP/IP but built securely from the ground up by Microsoft (or EXACTLY like TCP/IP!)

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Anonymous Coward

presumably

the Microsoft representative is only there to serve tea and coffee.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh no!

Oh no! There goes the planet...

MS (re)writing a communication protocol? The same muppets that think SMB is so good and well designed they re-created it in a new and just as bad way in SMB2 (differing application protocols still being munged together into one uncontrollable protocol) rather than using real standards. That's before NETBIOS / NETBEUI, WINS and the other assorted bits like it get taken into account.

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Coat

Wonder how it differs from IPv6?

The goals sound exactly like what IPv6 offers. Amazingly similar in fact.

Still, with Microsoft involved ... no worries, eh?

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Badgers

maybe

if they spent that $31m keeping Microsoft away from the project, the internet would be safer for all of us.

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Silver badge

An abortion in the making

What a stupid way to do this. Have 3 groups go into a secret huddle and try to invent something that meets very difficult to achieve objectives. The muppets probably also believe that by keeping the details of their new protocols secret that no one will be able to reverse engineer it. What is needed is a public competition along the lines of the ones that resulted in the DES and AES encryption standards.

This is assuming that their aims can't be met with IPv6, possibly with some additions.

See this to learn about AES:

http://www.moserware.com/2009/09/stick-figure-guide-to-advanced.html

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Flame

Rant, rant, rant.....

I wanted to get in before the usual anti-MS idiots spout their usual rubbish, but it looks like 11 idiots have got here already. Ho hum....

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Gates Halo

Netbios

Not fair to blame Microsoft for NETBIOS - IBM were responsible for that one

(see also, EBCDIC, SNA, JCL, etc)

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Sounds like IPv6 to me

What they want has already been invented. Its called IPv6.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

No worries

Seriously, does anybody really think this is something other than a complete waste of money?

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Grenade

@ aldude

So .. you seriously believe that Microsoft have a good record in this area? I'm not an MS fan, but I'd be very wary of letting Microsoft go anywhere near this purely on their past record. What the headline doesn't make clear though is that there are some "sensible" companies other than MS in there. However, I still think that a competition on the lines of AES would be better. It's not like the other companies involved actually need the money!

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Coat

I fully expect Microsoft to Patent it all

As the US Mil are exempt from US Patent Infringements (AFAIK), this is an ideal opportunity for them to lock everyone out from Internet V2

Then they will be ble to kill of all Mac's and Linux boxes at a stroke.

Mines the one with 'cynic' on the back

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Wrong guys for the job

Why not hire the guy who once said about TCP/IP coding: 'It's very simple — you read the protocol and write the code.'

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Comms Chatter in the future...

"Hello, Software. You're speaking to John. Calls may be monitored to help with future Body Counts. How can I help?"

"Hello? This is Brigadier Colins, on the left flank. We're coming under small arms and mortar attack and are able to return fire. Our rifles are saying 'Permission Denied'."

"Oh, give it a few minutes, Sir. You're Active Directory privileges are probably just waiting to propagate."

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Troll

@ aldude

You dropped your Microsoft employee card

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Grenade

TCP/IP irony attack

"Through this project, as well as our cyber Mission Maker initiatives, we are working to enhance cyber security and ensure that warfighters* can fight on despite cyber attacks."

Then why involve a company that can't even secure it's own systems. And what was wrong with IPV6. I thought that was supposed to address these kind of problems.

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Anonymous Coward

@aldude

Oh, I can't be bothered to argue with your fanboi crap....

...oi, el Reg, where's the twat icon?

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Coat

If this is going to work...

First, take all the DARPA folk and lock them in a room under heavy sedation to avoid function-creep and sporadic sci-fi scoping

Second, lock the MS folk in a seperate room and beat them sensless for their assumption that they're the best people for this kind of job

The Lockheed folk will escape isolation only if they scope the project in clear terms and do not allow any creep

Then change the purpose of the project to: "develop a unified standard network protocol, interoperable, but not dependant upon, nor influenced by any of the myriad of ad-hoc sort-of-all-works-kinda-maybe protocols developed since Arpanet.

That's what must happen before they can even begin to consider what they want the protocol to do. The absence of such a protocol is what makes what they, as most of us, want it to do, so diffcult to begin with.

Well, look at the time!

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Wheel, 2.0

The task of developing secure packet switching protocols was mostly done by the CCITT in the 1970's.

Somebody should just give Lockheed a copy of the X.25 and associated standards, and they would be pretty much there.

IP pushed out X.25 because it was free to cheap; and more suited to porn-site surfing, not because it was superior in relaibility, security or speed.

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Gold badge
WTF?

Re: Wonder how it differs from IPv6?

Oh that's easy ... No interop with IPv4, no documentation, only one implementation (tied to an OS you didn't want, natch) and cracked within a few weeks once the military start using it over public networks.

Seriously, this *must* have been mis-reported. For all its faults, IP has stood the test of time and delivers on all of the requirements mentioned in the article, so why would an organisation as smart as DARPA go looking for a replacement?

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Gold badge
FAIL

Embrace, extend, extinguish

That is all.

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Thumb Down

Massive FAIL!

These guys have too much time on their hands. Why not fix what is broken, rather than reinvent the wheel?

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Paris Hilton

@AC

"...oi, el Reg, where's the twat icon?"

Look to the left...

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FAIL

designed to fail, big time

Microsoft ??? WTF.

Hugh amounts of misbegotten funds does not indicate the actual capabilities to provide the military with what Microsoft could not provide to themselves or the world, ever in the past.

May I remind the newbies at DARPA, it is the transparency of many eyes that provides what security they actually have now. Not obfuscation of code that for what should be obvious reasons, proven by Microsoft over the years, does not work.

A paid saboteur could not achieve as much damage as the implementation of Microsoft at any level of a secure system... why do you think they were not in on the development of the internet in the first place.

Get a brain.

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Paris Hilton

@AC 16:19

Here?

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Flame

reinvent the wheel

If you use _ALL_ features in TCPv6 you get that without any problem. You need network support for a couple of them which is not there, but for that you probably need Cisco or someone else doing network kit, not MSFT. For f*** sake it took me half an hour to sit down and draft a design that can do that recently. Not like we are talking rocket science here. It is bleeding obvious.

It is sad when people cannot read the spec for something that is standardised, available and most of all _IMPLEMENTED_ by them already and instead of that do "An elefant is a mouse designed to government specifications". Not that they are alone. They are clearly in the same boat with a few others - 3GPP, ETSI and ITU come to mind.

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Coat

M$ &= !this.ImprovedSecurity

Funny article!

hahahahaha... haha... ha... ho. hee.. ho... he... ha.

I'll get me coat

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WTF?

I could cry

They should watch 'Weird Science' and figure out how to make Kelly Le Brock again from a Barbie Doll with a Memotech MX512.

Now that's $31million worth spending for a body like that!

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Anonymous Coward

Govt

By the time they get all the initial design documents approved there will be something in private industry that already does all this. Trust me, I've been there. The Govt is all in favor of innovation but not at the expense of full mind-numbing documentation providing full employment for all civil servants involved.

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Badgers

Business vs. Brain Power

I'm a huge MS fan, but I'll also be at the front of the line to say they fuck up a lot, a whole lot in fact. Fuckup's are part of business though, you don't see MS running for the bankruptcy courts and they have scads of liquid cash so they are obviously doing something right on the business front.

Their business fuckup's aside, MS has some of the greatest minds in technology working for them, they far outpace Google in that respect, possibly only IBM has more super smarties than MS so maybe it's not such a bad thing if MS is involved.

Who knows and who cares, this'll never happen anyway, it's just a great way to scarf some tax dollars for a senseless project.

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Anonymous Coward

Humm

So finally Microsoft will get to rectify that pesky unix heritage slash in web addresses, and replace it with their own rebellious DOS backslash, yay for http:\\www.microsoft.com

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Grenade

LOL

i don't know what made me laugh harder, this article or the new BOFH

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Paris Hilton

Easy money for MBAs

"improved security, dynamic bandwidth allocation, and policy-based prioritization levels at the individual and unit level".

Yep, sounds like what the whole industry has been doing, and specifying in standards track RFCs, for the last 15 years. It'll take some good marketing to dress up implementing those into something that can be sold for lotsa money to the Dept of Dexpense.

Paris, cos she can also spend lots of money to cover her a...

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Gold badge
Alert

Re: http:\\www.microsoft.com

For the love of all things holy, and a few that aren't, NO !!!!!!!

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I don't get it...

...why slag Microsoft off? They actually produce stable software, especially with the last couple of releases, most of the issues come about because they don't talk to third party's very well (if at all).

If you ran entirely Microsoft software on a PC, you'd not see a fraction of the crashes & issues you encounter day to day.

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Silver badge

IPv6

Although IPv6 definitely is a step forward, it doesn't really allow for bandwidth management. You can simply overload a connection simply by sending packets through it. Protocols like TCP/IP only work by cooperation.

This, and the lack of anonymity, are the main problems of IP.

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Coat

They need

Microsoft® to harness the distributed computing power of all PCs so they can defend & attack.

With 70-80% of CPUs on the interweb by the short & curlies, SKYNET will have dominance and be near impossible to shutdown without doing that freaky green digital rush thing like cousin Neo.

Mines the one with the EMP in the pocket.

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Gold badge

USS Yorktown

Microsoft's record in the military is hardly good:

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/1998/07/13987

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This post has been deleted by its author

Linux

When the clueless attack

"IPv6 does all this"

No it doesn't - go learn about IPv6.

<rant about microsoft but no cisco being involved even though it's partly routing-related tech>

Juniper is, says so in the article.

<microsoft will screw this up because they can't write secure code type comment>

Asside from you're wrong, least they have people who can actually attempt it unlike say.. apple.. who lift bits of BSD then STILL screw it up.

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps Microsoft is there for another reason...

...To supply coordinates to test the output of Locheed-Martin's rockets or some such. I don't have them handy, but I'm sure that they could be found. Maybe bing (bong) has them. You never know?

122.12 west, 47.63 north ought to be close enough!

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Re Cyfaill

A paid saboteur could not achieve as much damage as the implementation of Microsoft at any level of a secure system... why do you think they were not in on the development of the internet in the first place.

If by the Internet you are talking about Arpanet, the main reason, for me anyway, why microsoft where not involved was bacause that was happening in the late 60's (68 i believe) and microsoft was founded in the mid 70's (75 I believe).

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Stop

@Mosh Jahan

Good at business yes. Good at software... not so much.

Perhaps when Korea fires it's long range nuclear missiles at the USA the new protocols will automatically issue an injunction to prevent the use of missiles until a full review can be implemented or perhaps an IP infringement writ based on the use pointy shaped missiles. Maybe it will just lobby for a change in US law making the deployment of foreign made missiles in US airspace illegal.

Maybe they will just try to buy Korea.

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Joke

@Perhaps Microsoft is there for another reason...

Probably Marketing.

Or maybe MS have been invited along to see how project management should be be done and how products can be delivered within time scale without major issues?

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