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Dominant Cyber Offensive Engagement and Supporting Technology

Solicitation Number: BAA-08-04-RIKA
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Office: Air Force Material Command
Location: AFRL/RIK - Rome
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Added: May 12, 2008 9:27 am

NAICS CODE: 541712

FEDERAL AGENCY NAME: Department of the Air Force, Air Force Materiel Command, AFRL - Rome Research Site, AFRL/Information Directorate, 26 Electronic Parkway, Rome, NY, 13441-4514

TITLE: Dominant Cyber Offensive Engagement and Supporting Technology

ANNOUNCEMENT TYPE: Initial announcement


CFDA Number: 12.800

DATES: It is recommended that white papers be received by the following dates to maximize the possibility of award: FY 08 should be submitted by 5 June 2008; FY 09 by 1 March 2009. White papers will be accepted until 2:00 p.m. Eastern time on 1 June 2009, but it is less likely that funding will be available in each respective fiscal year after the dates cited. FORMAL PROPOSALS ARE NOT BEING REQUESTED AT THIS TIME. See Section IV of this announcement for further details.

Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)/RI is soliciting white papers for various scientific studies and experiments to increase our knowledge and understanding of the broad range of capabilities required in support of Dominant Cyber Offensive Engagement and Supporting Technology, to include testing of prototype capabilities. Solutions to basic and applied research and engineering for the problems relating to Dominant Cyber Offensive Engagement and Supporting Technology are sought. This includes high risk, high payoff capabilities for gaining access to any remotely located open or closed computer information systems; these systems enabling full control of a network for the purposes of information gathering and effects based operations. Of interest are any and all techniques to enable user and/or root level access to both fixed (PC) or mobile computing platforms. Robust methodologies to enable access to any and all operating systems, patch levels, applications and hardware are of interest. Also, we are interested in technology to provide the capability to maintain an active presence within the adversaries' information infrastructure completely undetected. Of interest are any and all techniques to enable stealth and persistence capabilities on an adversaries infrastructure. This could be a combination of hardware and/or software focused development efforts.
Following this, it is desired to have the capability to stealthily exfiltrate information from any remotely-located open or closed computer information systems with the possibility to discover information with previously unknown existence. Any and all techniques to enable exfiltration techniques on both fixed and mobile computing platforms are of interest. Consideration should be given to maintaining a "low and slow" gathering paradigm in these development efforts to enable stealthy operation. Finally, this BAA's objective includes the capability to provide a variety of techniques and technologies to be able to affect computer information systems through Deceive, Deny, Disrupt, Degrade, Destroy (D5) effects. Of interest are any and all techniques including enabling D5 effects to computers and their networks; integration of effects with Access, Stealth and Persistence and Cybint capabilities; command and control of effects; and determining effects' link to operational impact. In addition to these main concepts, we desire to have research efforts in the supporting areas including (but not limited to): Information Assurance through Flattened Computer Architectures in special application/user environments; NGPSec: Secure Next Generation Protocol Suite to investigate feasibility and determine whether reinventing the network protocol stack can be done and the resulting success quantified; Proactive Botnet Defense Technology Development specifically as applies to new ideas/concepts for practical application; Carbon nanotubes for high density interconnects and RF applications, to allow for incorporating novel IA designs into computer architectures through nanotube interconnects with nanotube based RF peripherals (antennas).

Research efforts under this program are expected to result in complete functional capabilities ideally addressing the Dominant Cyber Offensive Engagement problem. However, projects specializing in highly novel and interesting applicable techniques will also be considered, if deemed to be of "breakthrough" quality and importance. The effectiveness of the developed technologies for potential operational use will be assessed through preplanned testing and evaluation activities. Technologies that can be transitioned for operational use are of high interest. Offerors are encouraged to describe the pre-conditions that are necessary for the proposed techniques to work efficiently.
Offerors are encouraged to submit classified white papers via the appropriate channels. Contact the technical point of contact listed in Section VII before submitting any classified white papers.

This effort includes any and all techniques to enable user and/or root level access to both fixed (PC) or mobile computing platforms, using robust methodologies to enable access to operating systems, patch levels, applications, and hardware of interest. Further techniques include enabling of stealth and persistence capabilities on an adversarial infrastructure, possibly in combination with hardware and/or software focused development. In addition, other areas include techniques to enable exfiltration on both fixed and mobile computing platforms with consideration given to maintaining a "low and slow" gathering paradigm to enable stealthy operation. Finally the effort includes any and all techniques to enable D5 effects to computers/networks; and integration of these effects with access, stealth, persistence, Cybint capabilities; command and control of effects; and determination of effects link operational impact. Deliverables will be technical reports, software, demonstrations, and results of experiments which provide evidence and metrics concerning the assertions/claims about the research. Demonstrations may involve exploratory development models (ie brassboards) if appropriate.


Total funding for this BAA is approximately $11M. The anticipated funding to be obligated under this BAA is broken out by fiscal year as follows: FY 08 - $3M; FY 09 - $8M. Individual awards will not normally exceed 24 months with dollar amounts normally ranging between $200,000 to $1,500,000 per year. There is also the potential to make awards up to any dollar value. Awards of efforts as a result of this announcement will be in the form of contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements depending upon the nature of the work proposed. The total value of all efforts awarded under this BAA will not exceed $11 Million.


1. ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: All potential applicants are eligible. Foreign or foreign-owned offerors are advised that their participation is subject to foreign disclosure review procedures. Foreign or foreign-owned offerors should immediately contact the contracting office focal point, Lori L. Smith, Contracting Officer, telephone (315) 330-1955 or e-mail for information if they contemplate responding. The e-mail must reference the title and BAA 08-04-RIKA.

2. COST SHARING OR MATCHING: Cost sharing is not a requirement.


1. APPLICATION PACKAGE: THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONSTITUTES THE ONLY SOLICITATION. WE ARE SOLICITING WHITE PAPERS ONLY. DO NOT SUBMIT A FORMAL PROPOSAL AT THIS TIME. Those white papers found to be consistent with the intent of this BAA may be invited to submit a technical and cost proposal, see Section VI of this announcement for further details.

For additional information, a copy of the AFRL/Rome Research Sites "Broad Agency Announcement (BAA): A Guide for Industry," April 2007, may be accessed at:

2. CONTENT AND FORM OF SUBMISSION: Offerors are required to submit a 3 to 10 page white paper either via email, CD, or hard copy (if hard copy, 3 copies will be required), summarizing their proposed approach/solution. All white papers/proposals shall be submitted in Microsoft Word format, and have a font no smaller than 10 pitch with any figures, tables and charts easily legible. The purpose of the white paper is to preclude unwarranted effort on the part of an offeror whose proposed work is not of interest to the Government. The white paper will be formatted as follows: Section 1: Title, Period of Performance, Cost of Task, Name/Address of Company, Technical and Contracting Points of Contact (phone, fax, and email)(this section is NOT included in the page count); and Executive Summary; Section 2: Innovative Claims; Section 3: Technical Objective/Approach (Research Focus, Performance Evaluation, Unique Features, experiments that will provide evidence concerning research claims/assertions); Section 4: Personnel Qualifications and Experience; Section 5: Transition Plan (if research is successful how will operational transition occur and who are the principle customers?); Section 6: Schedule/Milestones (GANNT Chart by FY preferred); and Section 7: Technical summary/References and Proposed Deliverables. Multiple white papers within the purview of this announcement may be submitted by each offeror. If the offeror wishes to restrict its white papers/proposals, they must be marked with the restrictive language stated in FAR 15.609(a) and (b). In addition, respondents are requested to provide their Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) number, their Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, a fax number, an e-mail address, and reference BAA 08-04-RIKA with their submission. All responses to this announcement must be addressed to the technical POC, as discussed in paragraph five of this section.

3. SUBMISSION DATES AND TIMES: It is recommended that white papers be received by the following dates to maximize the possibility of award: FY 08 should be submitted by 5 June 2008; FY 09 by 1 March 2009. White papers will be accepted until 2:00 p.m. Eastern time on 1 June 2009, but it is less likely that funding will be available in each respective fiscal year after the dates cited.

4. FUNDING RESTRICTIONS: The cost of preparing white papers/proposals in response to this announcement is not considered an allowable direct charge to any resulting contract or any other contract, but may be an allowable expense to the normal bid and proposal indirect cost specified in FAR 31.205-18. Incurring pre-award costs for ASSISTANCE INSTRUMENTS ONLY, are regulated by the DoD Grant and Agreements Regulations (DODGARS).

5. OTHER SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: DO NOT send white papers to the Contracting Officer. All responses to this announcement must be addressed to ATTN: W. John Maxey, AFRL/RIGB, and reference BAA-08-04-RIKA. Electronic submission to is acceptable, or white papers on CD can be addressed to AFRL/RIGB (W. John Maxey), 525 Brooks Road, Rome NY 13441-4505. For submissions that may be classified contact the cognizant technical POC, W. John Maxey,, (315) 330-3617.


1. CRITERIA: The following criteria, which are listed in descending order of importance, will be used to determine whether white papers and proposals submitted are consistent with the intent of this BAA and of interest to the Government: (1) Overall scientific and/or technical merit, including technical feasibility, degree of innovation, understanding of the technical, operational approach and program milestones/schedule; (2) Experimental approach for evaluation of the technology; (3) The effort's potential contribution and relevance to the U. S. Air Force's Computer Network Attack (CNA)/Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) Information Assurance requirements; (4) The extent to which the offeror demonstrates relevant technology and domain knowledge; and (5) The reasonableness and realism of: proposed costs, fee (if any). No further evaluation criteria will be used in selecting white papers/proposals. Individual white paper/proposal evaluations will be evaluated against the evaluation criteria without regard to other white papers and proposals submitted under this BAA. White papers and proposals submitted will be evaluated as they are received.

2. REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS: Only Government employees will evaluate the white papers/proposals for selection. The Air Force Research Laboratory's Information Directorate has contracted for various business and staff support services, some of which require contractors to obtain administrative access to proprietary information submitted by other contractors. Administrative access is defined as "handling or having physical control over information for the sole purpose of accomplishing the administrative functions specified in the administrative support contract, which do not require the review, reading, or comprehension of the content of the information on the part of non-technical professionals assigned to accomplish the specified administrative tasks." These contractors have signed general non-disclosure agreements and organizational conflict of interest statements. The required administrative access will be granted to non-technical professionals. Examples of the administrative tasks performed include: a. Assembling and organizing information for R&D case files; b. Accessing library files for use by government personnel; and c. Handling and administration of proposals, contracts, contract funding and queries. Any objection to administrative access must be in writing to the Contracting Officer and shall include a detailed statement of the basis for the objection.


1. AWARD NOTICES: Those white papers found to be consistent with the intent of this BAA may be invited to submit a technical and cost proposal. Notification by email or letter will be sent by the technical POC. Such invitation does not assure that the submitting organization will be awarded a contract. Those white papers not selected to submit a proposal will be notified in the same manner. Prospective offerors are advised that only Contracting Officers are legally authorized to commit the Government.

All offerors submitting white papers will be contacted by the technical POC, referenced in Section VII of this announcement. Offerors can email the technical POC for status of their white paper/proposal no earlier than 45 days after proposal submission.


Depending on the work to be performed, the offeror may require a SECRET, TOP SECRET (TS), or TS/SCI facility clearance and safeguarding capability; therefore, personnel identified for assignment to a classified effort must be cleared for access at the appropriate level at the time of award. In addition, the offeror may be required to have, or have access to, a certified and Government-approved facility to support work under this BAA. Data subject to export control constraints may be involved and only firms holding certification under the US/Canada Joint Certification Program (JCP) ( are allowed access to such data.

3. REPORTING: Once a proposal has been selected for award, offerors will be required to submit their reporting requirement through one of our web-based, reporting systems known as JIFFY or TFIMS. Prior to award, the offeror will be notified which reporting system they are to use, and will be given complete instructions regarding its use.


Questions of a technical nature shall be directed to the cognizant technical point of contact, as specified below:

W. John Maxey
Telephone: (315) 330-3617

Questions of a contractual/business nature shall be directed to the cognizant contracting officer, as specified below:

Lori Smith
Telephone (315) 330-1955

The email must reference the solicitation (BAA) number and title of the acquisition.

In accordance with AFFARS 5301.91, an Ombudsman has been appointed to hear and facilitate the resolution of concerns from offerors, potential offerors, and others for this acquisition announcement. Before consulting with an ombudsman, interested parties must first address their concerns, issues, disagreements, and/or recommendations to the contracting officer for resolution. AFFARS Clause 5352.201-9101 Ombudsman (Aug 2005) will be incorporated into all contracts awarded under this BAA. The AFRL Ombudsman is as follows:

Susan Hunter
Building 15, Room 225
1864 Fourth Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433-7130
FAX: (937) 225-5036; Comm: (937) 255-7754

All responsible organizations may submit a white paper which shall be considered.


AFRL/Information Directorate
26 Electronic Parkway
Rome, New York 13441-4514
Lori L. Smith,
Contracting Officer
Phone: (315) 330-1955