Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Fahmida Y. Rashid reports that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will fund new cyber-security proposals under the new Cyber-Fast Track project intended to cut red tape for hackers to apply for funding for projects that would help the Defense Department secure computer networks, says Peiter Zatko, a hacker known as Mudge who was one of the seven L0pht members who testified before a Senate committee in 1998 that they could bring down the Internet in 30 minutes and is now a program manager for the agency's information innovation office. Anything that could help the military will be considered, including bug-hunting exercises, commodity high-end computing and open software tools and projects with the potential to "reduce attack surface areas, reverse current asymmetries" are of particular interest. Under the Cyber-Fast Track initiative, DARPA will fund between 20 to 100 projects annually. Open to anybody, researchers can pitch DARPA with ideas and have a project approved and funded within 14 days of the application. Developers will retain intellectual property rights while DARPA will operate under government use rights. "It's time to start funding hacker spaces, labs and boutique security companies to make it easier to compete with large government contractors.""