Former NSA Director Will File “At Least” 9 Patents To Detect Malicious Hacking

Former NSA Director Will File “At Least” 9 Patents To Detect Malicious Hackers

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Megan Geuss, had an article in the July 29, 2014 cyber security publication ArsTechnica.com, with the title above. Ms. Geuss cites an interview that former NSA Director, General Keith Alexander gave to Foreign Policy’s Shane Harris on Monday of this week. Ms. Geuss writes that “Gen. (ret.) Alexander plans to file “at least” 9 patent applications — “and possibly more” — pertaining to the technology of detecting network intruders.”

Since retiring from government earlier this year, Ms. Geuss notes that Gen/ (ret.) Alexander co-founded a new cyber security company, IronNet Cyber Security Inc., along with unnamed business partners. Gen. Alexander said, “that these business partners helped him create the “unique” method of detecting hackers — that he plans to patent.” Gen. (ret.) Alexander has been providing consulting services to major corporations, especially those in the financial sector; and, has quoted fees of up to $1M per month,” Ms. Geuss notes. Ms. Geuss adds that, — that very high fee, — suggested at least one unnamed government official, — could mean that Gen. Alexander could be disclosing or misusing classified information — though no evidence or additional information was offered.

Ms. Geuss writes that, “presumably, Alexander’s expensive consulting will include access to IronNet’s future. patented technology, which will cover a “system to detect so-called — advanced, persistent threats, or hackers who clandestinely burrow into a computer network in order to steal secrets; or, damage the network itself,” Foreign Policy reported. She notes that Gen. Alexander specified to Foreign Policy, that “IronNet’s technology is unique, because it uses “behavioral models,” to anticipate a hackers next move.”

“Still, one former national security official with decades of experience in security technology; and, who asked to remain anonymous, said the behavioral-model approach is highly speculative — and, has never been used successfully,” Foreign Policy wrote. “Nevertheless, Alexander said that he hopes to finish testing his system; and, has already signed contracts with three customers.”

Ms. Geuss writes that “Alexander has reportedly filed seven patents while at the NSA, of which four are still pending.” Ars Technica noted that it was unable to turn up any of the three approved patents, possibly because patents can be kept secret from the public if their disclosure would be considered “detrimental to national security.”

“The former NSA Director said that he had consulted with lawyers at the agency, as well as his own private lawyers, to be sure that none of his forthcoming patents relied on work done by the NSA,” wrote Ms. Geuss. She adds that, “a source familiar with Alexander’s [activities] told Foreign Policy that the former NSA Director “developed this [new] technology on his own, [private] time; and, that he addressed any potential infractions before deciding to seek his patents.”

“But,” Ms. Geuss concludes, “Alexander’s unique position, and status during his time at NSA, suggests that clients might be more susceptible to an up-sell that could pad Alexander’s pocketbooks quite a bit.”

I hope so. He is a good man, and America was lucky to have him, in the position he was, post 9/11. V/R, RCP

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