back to article DARPA witchfinder-ware to SMITE America's IT traitors

Our old friends at DARPA - the US military research bureau - have broached another intriguing and mildy upsetting scheme this week. This time the Pentagon boffins want nothing less than some kind of automated witch-finder technology able to finger "increasingly sophisticated malicious insider behavior" in the USA. According to …


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  2. Anonymous Coward

    I now understand DARPA

    Think of a name / acronym. Then find a problem to fit the acronym.


    Not Enough Women Training In Technical Specialities

  3. Graham Marsden

    The first stage in solving a problem...

    ... is being able to accurately define what the problem IS!

    Back to the drawing board, guys.

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "increasingly sophisticated malicious insider behavior"


    Red lights light up all over Washington D.C., starting at O'bomba and Killary, go on all over Congress. Then various lobbies and thinktanks light up like Christmas Trees. NSA, CIA, FBI, TSA and whatever attract moths from all over the place during the night. The glare from Wall Street, SEC and FED can be seen from the Moon.

    Hopefully, these targets, once identified, are uploaded to submarines via satellite and nuke-tipped SLCMs are soon on the way for some appropriate termination.

  5. BuckBrinkley

    Honeypots don't work?

    Or maybe being corporate America, honeypots open you up to litigation while detecting and punishing 'thought crimes' does not?

    I can build them a normal looking mouse that measures galvanic skin response. A bargain that I am willing to give to DARPA for only $200 million or so.

  6. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    @Suspected Malicious Insider Threat Elimination

    In other words, identify decent, so they can be punished.

    Talk about Orwellian. This is blatantly 1984's Thought Crime detection.

    I can think of a few ex-bosses who would love this technology, not to mention politicians. :(

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      ITYM "dissent"

      But either one works for me...

  7. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Why not do it the classical way?

    I suggest the Roman technique of decimation. Line everybody up and kill every tenth one

    It has the merit of simplicity, the American gun fetish is already doing something like this already, and I bet it'll have a higher % success rate in eliminating 'threats' than any computer program....

  8. Chris Holt

    Only DARPA...

    Happy April hang on its not...

    Only DARPA would actually progress Minority Report - but didn't they see that it is causes feedback loops with the operators?

  9. Tom 35

    It's easy

    Just check to see if they weigh the same as a duck.

    Should work as well as what they have planned.

  10. Ysean

    I know this is an UK site, but....

    Can you guys even make constructive comments any more? Or, are all of you so bitter with your country's standing in the world that you have to bash others? Really, you are no better than any other western country. As for DARPA and SMITE...

    Well, let's just say it is DARPA's duty to try the extraordinary/impossible because just now and then someone finds a way to achieve the extraordinary/impossible.

    SMITE is nothing more than an IDS with reactive counter-measure system. This has nothing to do with 1984 or thought policing. Really, guys, get a bit more with reality.

    If you want to go on about thought policing just look at your own country and its part in echelon.

    1. BlueGreen


      > "...constructive comments..."

      With you on that, however

      "SMITE is nothing more than an IDS ..."

      from the pdf, a revealing line: "Looking for clues that suggest an insider attack 1) can be anticipated, 2) is underway or 3) has already taken place...", see 1). This is not the function of an IDS as I understand it. It also smells like the real reason however that's just my interpretation.

      What it doesn't cover is more interesting and more useful - why you have enemies and how could you deal with that properly, but like most cruxes (plural??) it's easier to ignore and go after the short-term symptoms (nowt particularly US about that).

      > ".. echelon" Point taken. Too much impotent bitching here.

  11. Steven Knox

    No False Positives!

    "We define insider threat as malevolent (or possibly inadvertent) actions ..."

    So you can just finger anyone, and claim it must have triggered on some "inadvertent" action of theirs!


  12. Tom B

    Obama Anti-Virus?

    I don't know why everyone's having such a conniption over this. It just sounds like the next generation of anti-virus or anti-malware, with added smarts to detect the activity of potential threats before systems can be compromised. Sounds like a good idea to me.

    Does anyone out there really want hackers mucking about with the power grid, water treatment plants, or even traffic lights? If this works, maybe it'll filter down to the desktop and make Windows more secure (although "FORMAT C:" works well for me).

  13. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Cousin of the "Find a terrorist" by studying their comms patterns?

    The NSF reckoned that was BS.

    Does this look *any* more feasible?

    Mine will be the one with lots and *lots* of false positive results in the pockets.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Enemy within is still an enemy ...

    ... and has potential to create harm for money, mal-ethics or ethical commitment.


    ISP shuttered for hosting 'witches' brew' of spam, child porn

    And I'd guess that is what can be made public using a commercial damage based investigation.

    I'd also guess that there is probably a lot more that cannot be mentioned in public for one reason or another.

    DARPA seems fully justified .

  15. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    the next step

    Annex Australia. Nevada isn't big enough as a re-education camp for all the web coders who neglect to use bind variables.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      they have

      The yanks and their thought cronies in wall street as well as the even more malevant academics who pretend to know stuff like economics already control both major parties, while the Sierra Club and its ilk control what passes for environmentalists. Why annexe, with the legal hassles involved, when supine serfdom by "leaders" is cheaper and faster.

      BTW, the majority of local peasants like it that way too, due to some stupid idea that yanks protect their friends, despite Clinton doctrine being very clear on that. (for once) AC for self preservation.

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