MonsterMind : NSA’s cyber weapon

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Edward Snowden recently did an interview with WIRED magazine where he detailed to them an NSA project named ‘MonsterMind’. The project, which doesn’t have the best codename out of those revealed so far, is used to automatically respond to cyber-attacks from nation states without the need for agents to do anything.

It works by detecting traffic patterns which look like an attack is being started and then blocks it from entering the country.

This looks great from a national security standpoint however how can the NSA be sure where an attack originated? Even novice computer users can use spoof their locations so it should be no problem for an advanced user to launch an attack from an IP other than their own.

Snowden said “You could have someone sitting in China, for example, making it appear that one of these attacks is originating in Russia. And then we end up shooting back at a Russian hospital. What happens next?”

You can read the long write up over on WIRED’s nicely formatted website (scroll down) to get additional information on the newly revealed NSA program.

Paul Hill
Free and Open Source software advocate. I've been enthusiastic about new technology for over half a decade and now I'm just waiting for the technological singularity. Post-Snowden, I've developed a dislike for surveillance meaning I use FLOSS religiously over proprietary alternatives. Amateur Astronomy is also a hobby of mine!