It’s called Reynard, for the fox, and it first came to light as a snippet in a report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) toCongress. It’s a project aimed at gauging “normal” behavior on online worlds to be able to home in on anomalous behaviour, according to the BBC. From that, the project will be able to develop techniques and tools that will help agents track down and monitor terrorists online, especially in virtual worlds. In the report, ProjectReynard was described as "a seedling effort to study the emerging phenomenon of social (particularly terrorist) dynamics in virtual worlds and large-scale online games and their implications forthe intelligence community." Initially researchers will simply use data that’s publicly available to establish “baseline normative behaviour.” Once that has been done,the researchers will "then apply the lessons learned to determine the feasibility of automatically detecting suspicious behavior and actions in the virtual world." That doesn’tmean you need to worry about jihad in Runescape, for instance. But it’s quite feasible that Jihadist worlds could come online, where even the terrorwould be virtual. The recent accidental taking down on YouTube, for example, came about because some routers misconfigured a Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). Adeliberate BGP attack could be devastating.
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