Faithful Integration and Reverse-engineering and Emulation (FIRE)

Funding Agency:
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

The Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) at DARPA seeks proposals that provide a strong and innovative technical approach that show a constructive plan to fully address the FIRE program goals and metrics. Proposers should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice.

The Faithful Integrated Reverse-engineering and Exploitation (FIRE) program seeks to develop transformative tools to find, exploit, and patch vulnerabilities in medium-complexity cyberphysical systems (CPS) within a month from when the physical system is delivered to the analysis team. FIRE is primarily interested in cyber-physical vulnerabilities (CPV), ones that arise from the composition of hardware, software, and physical components where each component may not be vulnerable in-and-of itself.

The FIRE goals are driven by the proliferation of low-cost commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components (e.g., sensors, actuators, and algorithms) resulting in diverse classes of CPS including smart meters, medical devices, autonomous vehicles, and industrial control systems to name a few. Furthermore, agile development practices have shown that even highly complex systems such as a car can be remotely patched every few weeks. Innovative CPS vulnerability analysis tools and techniques are needed to keep pace with increased system diversity and decreased analysis timelines.


o Abstract Due Date: March 31, 2023

o Proposal Due Date: May 19, 2023

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

The FIRE program has five (5) technical areas (TAs):

TA1 Modeling will seek to develop tools that can model entire systems (to include hardware, software, and physical) with enough fidelity to find, exploit, and patch vulnerabilities, and are fast enough to meet the overall one-month program goal.

TA2 Simulation will seek to develop simulators that have enough precision to model interactions between system components and are fast enough to meet the overall program goals.

TA3 Preparation will seek to develop tools that reduce the amount of time needed to prepare a system for analysis to include techniques to accurately identify components, connections, and/or board layouts.

TA4 Integration will seek to create the FIRE tool(s) that meet the overall one-month program metric by integrating TA1, TA2, and TA3 solutions.

TA5 Engineering Support Task will seek to work with government and Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) teams to develop representative medium-complexity CPS with full data rights for TA1, TA2, TA3, and TA4 performers to test, evaluate, and demonstrate their solutions.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences

External Deadline

May 19, 2023