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Former Secret Service Director Warns IE Audience About Cyber Security Threats

The World Affairs Council of Inland Southern California brought former Secret Service director Anthony Chapa to Redlands for a talk on cyber security.  KVCR's Benjamin Purper has more.

Chapa spent 22 years in the U.S. Secret Service. Now he works as a business and security consultant with a focus on cyber-security. Chapa came to Redlands to speak about the evolving threat that cyber-security issues bring.

Chapa: “We saw the viruses in the 1980's and we saw the worms and then we saw the data thefts of the credit cards in 2000. But today, we're needing to look at who are the cyber bandits and even more, what is their intention. Well, if it's someone trying to steal the answers at the University by going into the email system is one thing, if it's a terrorist organization trying to recruit someone is another. But if it's a nation-state that's looking for a weakness in a cyber-security network with the intention of stealing innovation, well then you're actually now starting to steal something of value. Something that affects the GDP of your nation. Well, how do we work to respond to that?”

Chapa says there are two main threats to our national cyber-security. The first is Russia influencing our elections.

Chapa: “What has been in the news recently with the Russians, with the hack of the 2016 election and claims that that continues, is an opportunity to look at antiquated data systems we have, which individuals who are able to go in there and steal not only data on individuals and voters but trends, and have found that using avenues that were still available on social network to actually go and now affect the thought process, the voting process, you know, encouraging someone to vote for someone based on information. Well what if that information is not true?”

The second is China stealing plans for American innovation.

Chapa: “Stealing plans for a jet fighter or maybe medicines or some sort of innovation that they can then take and duplicate and make cheaper.” 

Chapa says these threats will require a new understanding of how to combat cyber warfare.

Chapa: “You need to understand that the attacks are coming in an asymmetrical, hybrid threat. Meaning that they're not going by the rules, they're not going by the rules of engagement, the rules of war, it's new. So our defense should be that way as well. We should be defending ourselves on a fluid scale, and say we need to be able to work from within.”

You can learn more about the Inland World Affairs Council at wacinlandsocal.org.

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