Cyberattacks against the government are a big problem, and the NSA has plans to end malware attacks on the U.S. for good. That sounds great on the surface, but the program could also hurt innocent civilians and lead to war with other countries.
Notorious leaker Edward Snowden revealed the details of the MonsterMind program in a recent interview with Wired. The program would track malware coming into the U.S. automatically and kill it. This is a huge privacy concern, because it means the NSA would have to monitor online communications between American citizens and people overseas.
Software would constantly be on the lookout for traffic patterns indicating known or suspected attacks. When it detected an attack, MonsterMind would automatically block it from entering the country—a “kill” in cyber terminology.
That sounds bad enough, but the real danger is what happens next. After killing the malware, MonsterMind would automatically fire an attack back at the source. But, the source might not actually be the bad guys who sent it, because cybercriminals are great at bouncing their attacks around through many innocent computers.
“These attacks can be spoofed,” he says. “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?”
If the U.S. fires an accidental attack against an innocent country, that could lead some really bad consequences - even war. I'm all for protecting the government from malware attacks, but not if it puts innocent people at risk and lets the NSA snoop wherever it wants. Click here to learn how to stop the NSA from spying on you!