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U.S. Army Wants Keylogging Software to Help Prevent a Second Cablegate

After suffering a massive amount of embarrassment over the leak of classified and sensitive diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks - allegedly at the hands of an insider - the Army wants to use keylogging software with additional abilities, to prevent another Cablegate scale data breach.

Maj. Gen. Steven Smith, chief of the Army Cyber Directorate, told the Army Times, that they would soon be shopping for software that would be pre-programmed to detect abnormal behavior, as well as examine web searches, downloads, and keystrokes.

When asked to explain, Smith told the news agency how he expected the software to work using an example that mirrors the actions said to have been taken by PFC Bradley Manning.

“So I’m on the South American desk, doing intelligence work and all of a sudden I start going around to China, let’s say,” Smith said.

“That might be an anomaly, it might be justified, but I would sure like to know that and let someone make a decision, almost at the speed of thought.”

As it stands, the software that the Army is looking for is already available – existing in various forms within the public and private sectors. As the Army Times explains, such software could be used to monitor any level of activity on a given system.

“We don’t want to be forensics experts. We want to catch it at the perimeter,” Smith said. “We want to catch this before it has a chance to be exploited.”

The full story and additional reporting on DARPA research into the matter is available from the Army Times here.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.