The National Security Agency is planning to combat cyberattacks from overseas with a sophisticated yet highly risky program code-named ‘MonsterMind,’ warns whistleblower Edward Snowden.

In an interview in the September issue of Wired, Snowden said that MonsterMind software aims to identify the start of foreign attacks and block them from entering the U.S. What makes MonsterMind unique is its ability to “automatically fire back” at these attacks without human involvement, he said.

Snowden described MonsterMind as problematic, noting that cyberattacks are often routed through computers in “innocent” third countries. This raises the possibility of U.S. counter attacks against the wrong targets. “You could have someone sitting in China, for example, making it appear that one of these attacks is originating in Russia,” he said. “And then we end up shooting back at a Russian hospital. What happens next?”

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