500 cybersecurity experts failed to crack the Morpheus computer chip

Since hacking became a practice capable of negatively impacting the critical infrastructure of public and private organizations, developers have sought to create tested deployments of any cyberattack with various results.

One of the most recent attempts to develop such system took place at University of Michigan, where computer science students created a structure designed to prevent intrusions based on the characteristics of the human immune system. Morpheus is the consolidation of more than six years of work in the form of a computer chip capable of interrupting cyberattacks against banking, medical and storage systems.

The UM chip was tested from June to August in a competition called Finding Exploits to Thwart Tampering (FETT) from the U.S. Department of Defense. During this event, more than 500 hackers were reluctant to decipher Morpheus’ security in exchange for $50,000 USD, something none of them could achieve: “What this chip does is effectively protect a system from hacking; computer security is going through tricky times, so we need to try to avoid the most cyberattack variants,” says project manager Todd Austin.

According to reports, none of the experts participating in this event managed to compromise the security of Morpheus thanks to sophisticated technology that allows it to change its coding every time signs of malicious activity are detected: “What makes Morpheus unique is to stop even attacks that are unknown to it in its default settings. If the chip believes it has identified an attack, its settings begin to change, making it very difficult for the hacker to determine a successful attack method. That’s where the name Morpheus comes from, from his ability to metamorphosis,” Austin adds.

Experts concluded by mentioning that this is an approach similar to that of the immune system, as the idea is to adapt to the virus entering the system rather than being prepared only for certain types of attacks.

Developers believe that Morpheus has already passed all the tests needed to demonstrate its anti-hacking capability, so they already plan to turn it into a business effort for the benefit of individual organizations and users.

Cyberattacks have become the main threat to government agencies and private companies. ISACA, an international organization focused on information technology analysis, ensures that cybercriminal trends are on the rise, so organizations need to adopt new security mechanisms. To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.