Intel-gain loss (IGL or intelligence-gain loss) is the term used by American military and intelligence for the problem of deciding whether the value of collecting information from an enemy target is more worthwhile than destroying it. In cyber-security the term has been used to describe the NSA’s hoarding of zero-day vulnerabilities, which allow them the capability of attacking enemy targets. However, by disclosing their list of vulnerabilities, the NSA would also help to make American (as well as everybody else’s) cyber-defences more resilient by allowing software to receive patches to prevent exploit of their code.


Last updated: 6 September 2017