Intelligence & Security

Anti-Tamper (AT)

Anti-Tamper (AT) is are measures that are intended to prevent and/or delay the exploitation of critical technologies in systems, training devices, and maintenance support equipment. AT measures are developed and implemented to protect Critical Program Information (CPI) in U.S. defense systems developed using co-development agreements; sold to foreign governments; or no longer within U.S. control. [1, 2]

Definition: Anti-Tamper is the systems engineering activities intended to deter and/or delay exploitation of critical technologies in a system in order to impede countermeasure development, unintended technology transfer, or alteration of a system.

Website: DoD Anti-Tamper

When to Start Anti-Tamper (AT)

Ant-Tamper considerations and design need to be initiated as early as possible during program development, preferably in the Technology Maturation & Risk Reduction (TMRR) Phase, in conjunction with the identification of program CPI: [1]:

  • AT is also applicable to DoD systems during a Pre-Planned Product Improvement upgrade or a deployed system technology insertion; and
  • Additionally, AT should be specifically addressed in all transfer or sales of fielded systems and indirect commercial sales to foreign governments if those systems have CPI to protect.

Anti-Tamper in the Program Protection Plan (PPP)

The Program Manager (PM) addresses AT in the Program Protection Plan (PPP) which is submitted at Milestone B and updated at Milestone C. The PM also needs to develop a AT validation, Testing, and funding plan that should be included the Life-Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP) and the Acquisition Strategy.

The Anti-Tamper information included in the Program Protection Plan (PPP) should include: [1]

  • Identification of the critical technology being protected and a description of its criticality to system performance;
  • Foreign Teaming and foreign countries/companies participating;
  • Threat assessment and countermeasure attack tree;
  • AT system level techniques and subsystem AT techniques investigated;
  • System maintenance plan with respect to AT;
  • The recommended solution to include system, subsystem, and component level;
  • Determination of how long AT is intended to delay hostile or foreign exploitation or reverse-engineering efforts;
  • The effect that compromise would have on the acquisition program if AT were not implemented;
  • The estimated time and cost required for system or component redesign if a compromise occurs;
  • The PM recommendation and the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) decision on AT; and
  • The program AT Point of Contact (POC).

Software Anti-Tamper

Software Anti-Tamper (AT) prevents the reverse engineering and exploitation of military critical software technologies in order to deter technology transfer, alteration of system capability, or the development of countermeasures to U.S. systems. AT is an emerging umbrella term that covers the process, activities, and materiel implementation(s) to protect U.S. military and business technology from compromise when that technology is associated with or made vulnerable to reverse engineering through Foreign Military Sales (FMS), Direct Commercial Sales (DCS), worldwide operations.

Testing for Anti-Tamper

Anti-Tamper (AT) is tested and verified during Developmental Test and Evaluation (DT&E) and Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E). The Program Manager (PM) develops the validation plan and provides the necessary funding for the AT Verification and Validation (V&V) on actual or representative system components. See Testing for Anti-Tamper


  • The DoD AT Executive Agent has established a network of DoD Component AT points of contact to assist program managers in responding to AT technology and/or implementation questions. View the DoD Anti-Tamper Website.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/1/2021

Rank: G5.5

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