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NSA caused Syrian internet breakdown in 2012

August 14, 2014

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Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has given a large 3-day interview to Wired. The interview does not bring much technical details but includes some very interesting information. Firstly, Snowden claims that the internet breakdown Syria faced in November 2012 was in fact caused by the NSA. At the time, the prevailing opinion was that the Assad’s government disconnected the country from internet to harden communication for the opposition, while the Syrian government blaimed terrorists. According to Snowden, the outage was in fact caused by NSA agents who tried to install malware to the server of the major Syrian telecom operators but caused the server breakdown instead. The connection to internet was re-established only in two days.

Secondly, Snowden revealed existence of program called MonsterMind. MonsterMind is designed to not only detect any cyber attack on U.S. infrastructure from abroad but also to immediately strike back without any human interference. Snowden believes that such program may be very dangerous due to unintended consequences of its uncontrolled actions. 

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