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RCMP to pay up to $1 million for AI solution for data encryption and cracking passwords

RCMP to pay up to $1 million for AI solution for data encryption and cracking passwords

Tired of presenting encrypted proofs using traditional means, the RCMP is looking to small businesses in Canada to create new decryption solutions using artificial intelligence (AI).

Mounties and other federal departments are challenging firms to create AI-based decryption solutions to make it easier than their current strategy to decrypt encrypted data confiscated during criminal investigations.

There is no assurance that the force will actually deliver a contract. The competition's announcement Thursday said the force could pay up to $1 million to develop a working prototype for those in the final round of applicants. Offer is till 16th December.

"The current method of using massive decryption systems and attempting to brute force passwords is very inefficient and overall, rarely successful," Force explained in its announcement.

“The standard practice of individuals using encryption is increasing around the world, as it is becoming the most effective way to prevent criminal investigations. This challenge is aimed at helping public sector innovations address this issue. Because it can help other federal agencies such as the Canadian Border Services Agency, the Department of Defense, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Canada Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, and the Canada Revenue Agency.

Contest deals with encrypted documents and not encrypted wireless communication.

The proposed solution should:

- Accepting and processing material of any size from common forensic file types. (for example, e01, ad1, dd, ex01);

- Generate subject-specific password word lists based on user data activity, user interests and passwords discovered on ingested forensic images;

- process web history from a normal web browser;

- Process common documents, such as files from Microsoft Word, Excel, Adobe and others;

-And export password derivatives in text format for use in decryption software.

The proposed solution should be able to identify normal encrypted files from device images (such as Lux, BitLocker, TrueCrypt and others); ingest known passwords in a database, and use that database to generate password derivatives; Has a user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI); And initiate the decryption job using password lists generated using common decryption software like Elcomsoft, Passware, Hashcat and others.

Eligible firms must have 499 or fewer full-time equivalent employees with research and development activities taking place in Canada. Not all employees have to live here, but half or more of the firm's annual wages, salaries and fees currently have to be paid to the employees and contractors who spend most of their time working here.

In addition, half or more of its senior executives (vice president and above) must have a principal residence in Canada.

The competition will be held in two phases. In Phase I, the winning firm may receive up to $150,000 excluding applicable taxes, shipping, travel and living expenses. The first phase of the contract will run for six months.

Applicants entering Phase II may receive a contract of up to $1 million for up to 24 months, excluding applicable taxes, shipping, travel and living expenses.

The challenge is being offered under the government's Innovative Solutions Canada program, where government departments can ask small businesses to come up with a new product, service or solution that responds to the specific challenge they are facing. The government says it may act as the first customer under the program, helping businesses commercialize their innovations.

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