Artificial Intelligence Decryption Service (EN578-20ISC3/58)

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Tender Notice - Request for Proposal (RFP)




Publication date
Amendment date
Date closing
2022/01/26 14:00 Eastern Standard Time (EST)


Region of delivery
  • Canada
End user entity
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Procurement entity
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Region of opportunity
  • Canada
Tendering procedure
Solely Canadian content
Trade agreement
  • None
Reference number
Solicitation number


*** NEW – January 12, 2022

  • An attachment has been added. The document contains questions and answers related to the Challenge.

*** NEW – December 24, 2021

  • The challenge will be extended and the new closing date is January 26, 2022 at 2:00 PM EST

*** NEW – December 16, 2021

  • The challenge will be extended and the new closing date is January 12, 2022 at 2:00 PM EST

*** NEW – December 10, 2021

  • An attachment has been added to extend the closing date for this challenge to December 30, 2021 at 14:00 EST

*** NEW – November 11, 2021

  • An attachment has been added. The document contains questions and answers related to the Challenge.

*Please note the ISC Website will be available on November 6, 2021 at 14:00 EDT

NEW - Vaccination Policy Notification 152 in place. See attachment and/or go to (COVID-19 vaccination requirement for supplier personnel) on Buy and Sell.

This Challenge Notice is issued under the Innovative Solutions Canada Program (ISC) Call for Proposals 003 (EN578-20ISC3). For general ISC information, Bidders can visit the ISC website.

Please refer to the Solicitation Documents which contain the process for submitting a proposal.

Steps to apply:

Step 1: read this challenge

Step 2: read the Call for Proposals

Step 3: propose your solution here

Challenge title: AI Decryption Service

CHALLENGE SPONSOR: Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

Funding Mechanism: Contract


Multiple contracts could result from this Challenge.

The maximum funding available for any Phase 1 Contract resulting from this Challenge is $150,000.00 CAD (plus tax) including shipping, travel and living expenses, as applicable.

Estimated number of Phase 1 contracts: 2

The maximum funding available for any Phase 2 Contract resulting from this Challenge is $1,000,000.00 CAD (plus tax) including shipping, travel and living expenses, as applicable. Only eligible businesses that have completed Phase 1 could be considered for Phase 2.

Estimated number of Phase 2 contracts: 1

This disclosure is made in good faith and does not commit Canada to contract for the total approximate funding. Final decisions on the number of Phase 1 and Phase 2 awards will be made by Canada on the basis of factors such as evaluation results, departmental priorities and availability of funds.


Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the kick-off meeting and final review meeting will have the flexibility of being a video or teleconference.

Kick-off meeting


Progress review meeting(s)


Final review meeting


All other communication can take place by telephone, videoconference, and WebEx.

Problem Statement

The RCMP, along with all Canadian law enforcement, is currently facing the dilemma of criminals using sophisticated encryption to circumvent and otherwise prevent investigators from lawfully accessing data seized during the course of criminal investigations.

The use of these encryption techniques by individuals engaging in illegal behaviour greatly diminishes their risk of prosecution. It is public knowledge that police can obtain judicial authority to search a device, but they cannot compel an individual to provide a password. This scenario greatly incentivizes individuals to use some form of encryption on all their data as a secondary insurance against legal prosecution.

The RCMP is looking to develop an AI system that can ingest material seized during an investigation and generate case specific word lists which will be utilized in an attempt to decrypt the seized data. This AI should be able to ingest and process forensic data files as the source material.

Desired outcomes and considerations

Essential (mandatory) Outcomes

The solution must:

1. Accept and process material of any size from common forensic file types. e.g. e01, ad1, dd, ex01.

2. Generate subject-specific password word lists based on a user's data activity, a user’s interests and passwords discovered on ingested forensic images.

3. Process web history from common web browsers. e.g. Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari.

4. Process common documents. e.g. MS Word, MS Excel, text files, Adobe.

5. Export password derivatives in text format for use in decryption software.

Additional Outcomes

The solution should:

1. Identify common encrypted files from the device images. e.g. luks, bitlocker, truecrypt etc.

2. Ingest known passwords into a database, and utilize said database to generate password derivatives.

3. Provide a user-friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI).

4. Initiate decryption jobs using generated password lists using common decryption software. e.g. Elcomsoft, Passware, Hashcat etc.

Background and Context

This is a universal problem faced in Canada and internationally by allies, for legal access to encrypted data. All federal, provincial and municipal law enforcement and regulatory agencies in Canada consistently attempt to brute force encrypted data to gain lawful access to its contents.

The current method of utilizing massive decryption systems and attempting to brute force a password is both very inefficient and overall, rarely successful. The standard practice of individuals using encryption is increasing worldwide, as such is becoming the single most effective method to stymie criminal investigations. This challenge aims to leverage public sector innovation to help address this issue as it may help other federal agencies such as Canada Border Services Agency, the Department of Defense, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the Canada Revenue Agency.

Articles of Interest: 


All enquiries must be submitted in writing to no later than ten calendar days before the Challenge Notice closing date. Enquiries received after that time may not be answered.

Contact information

Contact name
Group, Pspc
Contact email
Contact address
10 Wellington
Gatineau  QC
K1A 0S5


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