U.S. Program to Detect Cyber Attacks on Infrastructure

U.S. Program to Detect Cyber Attacks on Infrastructure
U.S. Program to Detect Cyber Attacks on Infrastructure 

By Siobhan Gorman
The Wall Street Journal
July 7, 2010

The U.S. government is launching an expansive program dubbed "Perfect 
Citizen" to detect cyber assaults on private U.S. companies and 
government agencies running critical infrastructure such as the 
electricity grid and nuclear power plants, according to people familiar 
with the program.

The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government's chief 
eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in 
computer networks for critical infrastructure that would be triggered by 
unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack, though it 
wouldn't persistently monitor the whole system, these people said.

Defense contractor Raytheon Corp. recently won a classified contract for 
the initial phase of the surveillance effort valued at up to $100 
million, said a person familiar with the project.

An NSA spokeswoman said the agency had no information to provide on the 
program. A Raytheon spokesman declined to comment.

Some industry and government officials familiar with the program see 
Perfect Citizen as an intrusion by the NSA into domestic affairs, while 
others say it is an important program to combat an emerging security 
threat that only the NSA is equipped to provide.


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