With cyberattacks on the rise — most recently, the CIA homepage was hacked — Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post reports the National Security Agency is partnering with Internet service providers on a stronger line of defense:
The novel program, which began last month on a voluntary, trial basis, relies on sophisticated NSA data sets to identify malicious programs slipped into the vast stream of Internet data flowing to the nation’s largest defense firms. Such attacks, including one last month against Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin, are nearly constant as rival nations and terrorist groups seek access to U.S. military secrets.
“We hope the ... cyber pilot can be the beginning of something bigger,” Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said at a global security conference in Paris on Thursday. “It could serve as a model that can be transported to other critical infrastructure sectors, under the leadership of the Department of Homeland Security.”
So far the program is limited to defense contractors, but if it’s successful the NSA says it may want to extend it to domestic traffic, a move that would surely spark a major privacy debate.