Quoted: Ex-NSA chief warns of cyberattacks if Snowden is caught, takes dig at hackers

“If and when our government grabs Edward Snowden, and brings him back here to the United States for trial, what does this group do? … (This group is made up of) nihilists, anarchists, activists, Lulzsec, Anonymous, twentysomethings who haven’t talked to the opposite sex in five or six years.”

Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and the CIA, talked cybersecurity Tuesday, throwing in some fighting words for hackers. He also said, “they may want to come after the U.S. government, but frankly, you know, the (dot-military) stuff is about the hardest target in the United States.” The Guardian points out that the massive NSA spying program — which scoops up phone and online communications data of Americans as well foreign terrorism suspects — former government tech contractor Snowden helped expose was started under Hayden. Snowden, who’s wanted by the U.S. government, was granted asylum in Russia last week. President Obama today canceled a summit in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin partly because of that country’s decision to grant Snowden temporary asylum. Over the past couple of years, Anonymous, LulzSec and other hacker groups have perpetrated cyberattacks on targets as varied as Sony, PayPal, news sites and government sites.


Photo: Michael Hayden speaks Tuesday at a cybersecurity conference hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, DC.  (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)


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