Although the U.S. government is desperate to improve its own cyber defense ability, the NSA already has sophisticated cyberwarfare tools at its disposal. A custom program is able to track down cyberattacks from foreign-based criminals, and then can respond with an attack in an automated fashion without a security specialist present.
Dubbed "MonsterMind," the NSA uses the software to identify traffic patterns - likely from Eastern Europe and China - able to block attacks from damaging U.S. infrastructure and automatically respond against attackers.
"The government has used excessive secrecy to prevent real debate over the wisdom and legality of many of its most sweeping surveillance programs," said Alex Abdo, ACLU staff attorney, in an email to ComputerWorld. " This newly described program is just another example of that secrecy. If the government truly is scanning all internet traffic coming into the United States for suspicious content, that would raise significant civil liberties questions."