NSA’s ‘MonsterMind’ Could Launch Cyber Counterattacks Against Hackers


As the story covered by infosecurity-magazine, A new cyber defense system being developed by the NSA could
automatically launch counter-strikes against attackers who target the
US, whistleblower Edward Snowden has claimed.

The MonsterMind project, still under development at the spy agency,
features algorithms which would automatically scan vast chunks of
metadata with the aim of picking out malicious traffic.

With that intelligence the NSA system could then neutralize the
threat and even theoretically launch a retaliatory strike autonomously,
Snowden told Wired.

However, such a capability could end up targeting the innocent
compromised computers being used by an attacker as a botnet to launch
the initial threat, the whistleblower cautioned.

“These attacks can be spoofed,” Snowden told the site.

“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?”

The second issue is that for the system to work effectively, the NSA
would have to gain access to all communications traffic coming into the
US. Seizing private comms without a warrant and with no suspicion of
wrongdoing would violate the Fourth Amendment, Snowden added.

Sean Sullivan, security consultant at F-Secure, agreed that the
MonsterMind may end up counter-attacking botnets comprised of
compromised computers belonging to US citizens or allies of the States.

“Counterattack options are only useful if the adversary has something to lose. Take North Korea as an example,” he continued.

“It might attempt to launch an attack from comprised resources. But
even if it used its own servers to attack US infrastructure – what
besides those servers is there to counterattack? North Korea isn’t wired
– it basically has nothing to lose.”

Sullivan labelled it an “overly complicated defense strategy”.

“A fraction of the money used by ‘MonsterMind’ could be spend on bug
hunting and eliminating vulnerabilities to achieve greater results,” he
told Infosecurity.

Ehacking Staff
With more than 50 global partners, we are proud to count the world’s leading cybersecurity training provider. EH Academy is the brainchild of Ehacking, which has been involved in the field of training since the past Five years and continues to help in creating professional IT experts.

Most Popular

How to Install Kali Linux on VirtualBox [Windows Host] in 2020

Kali Linux is a Debian based Linux distribution, released on the 13th March 2013 as a complete rebuild of BackTrack Linux. It is one of...

Acunetix v13 Release Introduces Groundbreaking Innovations

The newest release of the Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner further improves performance and premieres best-of-breed technologies London, United Kingdom – February 5, 2019 – Acunetix,...

What is Ethical Hacking, how to be an Ethical Hacker

Hacking is the process of discovering vulnerabilities in a system and using these found vulnerabilities by gaining unauthorized access into the system to perform...

Basic steps to ensure security Online!

Security concerns are growing day by day due to the growing interconnectivity and technology. Drastic things can happen if you be a little careless...