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Local small cyber-technology business places in Navy drone hackathon competition

Written by corres2

UTICA — High Peaks Cyber, a newly formed small business focused on providing cyber technologies and services that support national security, placed ninth in Hack the Machine Unmanned, a Navy-sponsored competition to find bugs in the software that controls unmanned drones.

High Peaks Cyber was among 42 elite teams that participated in the national competition held Nov. 16-19.

The event was geared to help the Navy prepare to use drone swarm technologies in the battlefield by letting “white hat hackers” descend on those systems to find potential security issues with the technology before they are exposed to the nation’s adversaries.

Through this event, officials said, industry and the Navy continue to build next-level solutions for the challenges faced by the United States in cyber technology, artificial intelligence and digital engineering.

“Identifying these types of bugs helps the U.S. Navy make drone autopilot systems more secure,” said High Peaks Cyber CEO Joseph Sharkey.

“During the four-day event, some of the best hackers in the world competed to find bugs and help secure these platforms” said High Peaks Cyber CTO JP Blake. “We are honored to have ranked in the top 10.”

Sponsors of the event included the Office of Naval Research, Navy RDA, PEO C4I, PEO IWS, and PEO USC who are all motivated to obtain solutions facilitated by this event in coordination with the event’s key stakeholder, the Navy’s new Unmanned Task Force. Inspired by the 46 High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains, the High Peaks Cyber sets its goals and standards high, the company said, and strives to solve the most difficult cyber challenges facing our country.

The company was founded by two industry veterans who have combined experience conducting more than $50 million in cyber research and development.

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