Have you noticed that every time someone covers all the patents Keith Alexander is getting for his cybersecurity boondoggle, the number of patents grows?
In this installment, it is 10.
IronNet is working with lawyers to draft as many as 10 patent applications in which the NSA would have no stake. Alexander said the “real key” to the patents was a person who never worked for the agency.
In addition to dispensing advice, IronNet is working with lawyers to draft as many as 10 patent applications that will include Alexander as co-inventor on one and “maybe a few others,” he said.
Of course, no matter how many patents it will be, Alexander is still left with the problem of explaining either why this isn’t stuff taxpayers paid for at NSA, or why Alexander didn’t implement these whiz-bang solutions while in charge of NSA.
So he’s inching closer and closer to one that might work: he’s going to patent having no knowledge.
Current cybersecurity strategies assume the defender knows what threats are present, and can quickly identify them by their digital profile, known as their signature. Alexander said IronNet’s approach is to counter those attacks as quickly as possible, without that prior knowledge.
“All the patents and stuff that people work on today assume knowledge of the threat,” he said. “What it means is a new approach. Something that’s never been used.”
It’s surely a novel approach — attacking perceived threats before you’re sure what that threat is. I’m just not sure how well it’s going to work.
While Alexander is busy shoring up his 10, 11, 12 patents, I think I’ll rush to copyright my new novel, in which a hubristic cybersecurity profiteer takes down the entire banking system by attacking core finance functions he identifies as attacks.