The Department of Homeland Security has said that the department may extend its Einstein technology, which is designed to detect and prevent electronic attacks, to networks operated by the private sector. In this CNet report, Greg Schaffer, assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications, said that the department is evaluating whether Einstein makes sense for expansion to critical infrastructure spaces over time.
“Not much is known about how Einstein works, and the House Intelligence Committee once charged that descriptions were overly ‘vague’ because of ‘excessive classification.’ The White House did confirm this week that the latest version, called Einstein 3, involves attempting to thwart in-progress
cyber attacks by sharing information with the National Security Agency.
“Greater federal involvement in privately operated networks may spark privacy or surveillance concerns, not least because of the NSA’s central involvement in the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping scandal. Earlier reports have said that Einstein 3 has the ability to read the content of emails and other messages, and that AT&T has been asked to test the system. (The Obama administration says the ‘contents’ of communications are not shared with the NSA.)”