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September 11, 2014

Former NSA Boss to Patent Anti-Cyber Attack Technology

Criticised as Making Money Off His Former Job

Image courtesy of (renjith krishnan) /

An innovative idea or making cash off the back of government-mandated work?

Former NSA director Gen. Keith B. Alexander

Former NSA director Gen. Keith B. Alexander

That’s the question that’s been asked since Keith Alexander, the former head of the National Security Agency, announced he’ll be patenting a way to significantly reduce the effectiveness of cyber-attacks. Alexander’s new company, IronNet Cybersecurity, is expected to patent this new technology.

The issue, as brought forward by Bloomberg, is that Alexander worked on these types of projects while heading up the NSA, a post he left earlier this year.

Is Alexander breaking new ground or taking information and technique he used while in his former job and cashing in?

“When the patents become visible to everybody, they will see the solution is a game changer and hugely different from what the NSA is looking at,” Alexander told Bloomberg in an interview.

Alexander has defended the new technology and is not taking credit for it. He said it was someone else who came up with the idea and it has no links to what he was doing with the NSA.

Regardless, the optics are not good and some are questioning the ethics behind the potential patent and Alexander’s motives.

It’s not the first time, though, that he has been criticized since leaving the NSA.

Earlier this year, Alexander came under fire when it was learned he was charging companies hundreds of thousands of dollars each month to provide Internet security advice and services.


W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.