by John Galt
September 12, 2012 09:30 ET
Think this can’t happen?
From the webzine Nextgov.com which reports on government departments and programs has what can only be described as the most disturbing story for those of us who are fans of the Terminator series of movies and worse, government surrendering our freedom to machines:
From the article at the link above:
The federal government is strategizing to build a virtual community that would prompt computers worldwide to instantly, en mass, suppress cyberattacks, sometimes without humans at the keyboard.
The so-called cyber ecosystem would take “collective action” to galvanize cooperation among networks, external devices, and consumers, the Obama administration announced today.
“Computer systems, devices, applications and users will automatically work together in near real time to anticipate and prevent cyberattacks, automatically respond to attacks while continuing normal operations, evolve to address new threats, limit the spread of attacks across participating devices,” as well as share timely security information, a government research solicitation stated.
The Homeland Security Department and National Institute of Standards and Technology are seeking public input on the potential benefits and challenges of the approach before forging ahead with construction.
“This information will help DHS and NIST develop future cyber ecosystem security capabilities and an implementation strategy that will strengthen the security of critical infrastructures, federal information systems and the private sector,” the bulletin stated.
This initiative would bring to life a 2011 thought paper by Philip Reitinger, former deputy undersecretary for Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate, who has since joined Sony Corp. The entertainment giant was victimized by hacktivists who filched personal information on almost 100 million users of Sony’s PlayStation Network and Qriocity music service.
Cyber ecosystem dynamics could possibly mimic the way “the human body reacts to an infection,” federal officials said. Following the analogy, the system, for example, might be engineered to react locally to the immediate threat, or point of injury, as well as globally to contain damage.
Uh, that sounds like the proverbial “Skynet” from the science fiction movies to me. But it really can’t be that bad for us, can it?
The solicitation partly aims to find out if the field of artificial intelligence is mature enough to support the concept outlined. One question posed, for example, is this: “Can the cyber ecosystem be self-learning and automatically apply the learning to an attack without imposing unacceptable consequences to the ecosystem?”
Uh, ummm, what about obtaining launch codes and killing humanity?