CMU-spinoff ForAllSecure wins $2 million top prize at the DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 5, 2016 — (PRNewswire) —  ForAllSecure, a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff startup, just took home $2 million in prize money as the winners of the DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC), a first-of-its-kind hacking contest in which all participants are autonomous computer systems. ForAllSecure was one of seven finalist teams in the contest, which took place on Thursday, August 4th, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Carnegie Mellon University spinoff ForAllSecure wins $2M top prize at DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge

"Our vision is to check the world's software for exploitable bugs so they can be fixed before attackers use them to hack computers," says David Brumley, who wears several hats as CEO of ForAllSecure, director of Carnegie Mellon's CyLab Security and Privacy Institute, and professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "We believe our technology can make the world's computers safe and secure."

ForAllSecure's system, dubbed "MAYHEM" by the team, scans software for bugs, generates exploits, and fixes vulnerabilities. The system performs every task completely autonomously.

"This is a shining moment for a startup born at Carnegie Mellon," says Jim Garrett, Dean of Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering. "We couldn't be more proud of ForAllSecure for applying its vision to the development of cutting-edge technology that addresses the global issue of security."

DARPA launched the CGC in response to the recent increase in software bugs, due in large part to the explosion of the Internet of Things—billions of connected devices like smart thermostats or fitness trackers that are built with little regard to cybersecurity. The challenge aimed to identify state-of-the-art technology to find these bugs quickly, and at scale.

ForAllSecure was co-founded in 2012 by Brumley and two Carnegie Mellon graduate students, Thanassis Avgerinos and Alex Rebert. The startup currently has nine employees and is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

About Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon ( is a private, internationally ranked university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 13,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small faculty-to-student ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real world problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. 

About Carnegie Mellon University CyLab: Carnegie Mellon University CyLab ( is a University-wide, multi-disciplinary cybersecurity and privacy research institute. With over 50 core faculty, CyLab partners with industry and government to develop and test systems that lead to a world in which people can trust technology. CyLab stretches across five colleges encompassing the fields of engineering, computer science, business, public policy, information systems, humanities and social sciences. 

Contact: Daniel Tkacik, Email Contact, 770-256-0469

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CyLab at Carnegie Mellon University

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