WASHINGTON — CounterCraft, a supplier of network cybersecurity services, said it won a contract that gives the Pentagon and the entire federal government access to the company’s “high-interaction deception technology” for active cyber defense.

The sole-source contract awarded by the U.S. General Services Administration is worth as much as $26 million, the San Sebastian, Spain-based company said in a statement. It’s the culmination of a three-year effort starting with trials with the Defense Innovation Unit, where CounterCraft competed with 20 other cybersecurity firms, it said.

CounterCraft’s distributed Deception Platform creates automated “digital breadcrumbs” to bait hackers into thinking they are penetrating computer networks. The technology approach allows government agencies to get information on attackers’ and objectives while misdirecting them, in real time.

“Enabling commercial solutions and advancing public-private partnerships is a strong move by GSA and other forward-thinking federal organizations to stay ahead of threats from nation-state adversaries,” says CounterCraft’s COO Amyn Gilani. “We are committed to supporting our warfighters with innovative solutions for defense cyber operations and nontraditional cyber initiatives.”

Craig Harber, a veteran of the NSA and CTO of Fidelis, explains how his company employs deception technology.

Earlier, this week, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said hackers infiltrated a unnamed defense industrial base organization and maintained “persistent, long-term” access to its network while absconding with sensitive data.

The unidentified intruders used an open-source tool kit called Impacket to gain a foothold in the organization’s systems, according to a government bulletin. They then used a tailored exfiltration tool known as CovalentStealer to make off with files.

Founded in 2015, CounterCraft is present in London, New York and Madrid, with R&D in San Sebastian. The company recently raised additional funding from venture capital firms including cybersecurity-specific funds Adara Ventures, eCAPITAL, In-Q-Tel and Evolution Equity, bringing the total investment to date to $10 million.

Members of CounterCraft’s growing U.S. support team has held positions at the NSA, CIA, FBI, DHS, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and more, bringing decades of federal experience.

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