Commercial Licensing of the Hyperion Cyber Security Computer Code

Commercial Licensing of the Hyperion Cyber Security Computer Code

Hyperion is a cyber-security technology that can alert a user to the existence of "sleeper code" embedded in executable computer files to thwart malicious activity. Hyperion accomplishes this by generating the software's program functions or "behaviors," along with the complete set of conditions under which they occur. These behaviors can be automatically checked for known malicious signatures and inspected by domain experts to assure correct operation and the absence of malicious content.

The Cyber Warfare Research Team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) developed Hyperion over a four-year period with funding from multiple sources. The licensing of Hyperion by the ORNL Technology Transfer Office required above-average effort to secure the intellectual property, which had become more complex over time due to the multiple funding sources. And when restrictive open source code was identified during copyright review, which would have prevented commercial licensing of the code, the Cyber Warfare Research team members designed and implemented creative replacement solutions in a relatively short time.

At least five different funding sources, contributions from different research institutions, multiple code writers, and the use of various third-party computer code and libraries made the technology transfer process a true challenge for all involved. The resulting patent and copyright licenses represent the culmination of almost a year's efforts to mature the software and secure the intellectual property rights. Thereafter, a renegotiation of the copyright license was required to establish agreeable license terms that would enable the licensee to secure external funding. The transfer of Hyperion was the methodical and persistent movement forward by a competent and productive team that would ultimately overcome any obstacle it encountered.

The immediate benefits of the transfer effort are the expansion of the community of interest for this technology and the establishment of a commercial partner (R&K Cyber Solutions, LLC). The long-term benefits include a demonstration case for how a small minority- and disabled veteran-owned business can benefit from commercialization licenses with a national laboratory, as well as the establishment of a local branch of R&K Cyber Solutions, LLC, in Knoxville, Tennessee. The new employees hired increase the local cyber security community of interest and promote local workforce development, which in turn helps the laboratory with recruiting and retention.

Award Winners:

David Sims
Dr. Stacy Prowell

Contact: David Sims, (865) 241-3808, simsdl@ornl.gov

Award Year: 
Region: 
Southeast