Cyber Round Up: Obama Underestimated Cyber Threat, Electrical Grid Attack ‘Imminent’; The Bigger Issue with the Election Hacks

  • Obama Says He Underestimated Threat Posed by Cyberattacks (WSJ):   President Obama admitted to underestimating the affect cyber hacks could have on our society in an interview yesterday, a Wall Street Journal report said.  The outgoing President said he did not underestimate Putin himself, but did not fully understand the drastic impact that hacks and misinformation could have on “open societies, our open systems, . . . democratic practices.”  While President Obama recommended that the event not be politicized, one Republican representative said the Obama administration has been warned for years about these threats but has not listened.  The full text of the article can be found here.
  • U.S. Grid in ‘Imminent Danger’ From Cyber-Attack, Study Says (Bloomberg):  A recent report from the Energy Department says what many already knew, the electrical grid is in danger.  An article recapping the report says it emphasized that cyber defenses were being deployed much slower than the constantly evolving, sophisticated threats.  An attack on the electrical grid could disable defense systems as well as jeopardize the health and safety of millions of citizens, the article said.  The report also discussed cyber for natural gas lines, and estimated that modernization of the grid could cost up to $500 billion.  The article can be read in its entirety here.

  • The Real Russian Hacking Story: A Nation Underdefended From Cyberattack (Forbes):  Commentary today addressed the Russian election hacks beyond the politicized headlines of recent weeks.   The post suggests that people need to look beyond the election specifically and instead consider the big picture regarding increased need for cyber defenses across the U.S.   The article points out that while news reports suggested the U.S. was capable of executing large scale cyber attacks in response to Russia’s interference, President Obama chose not to because of the United States’ vast number of vulnerabilities.  In short, cyber war would be worse for us than it would be for them.  The article suggests that U.S. changes have not been as broad or sweeping as they need to be to confront cyber-first nations like Russia.  The full post can be found here.




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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a second year student at SU College of Law. Christopher is a non-traditional student, returning to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering and in addition to being a full-time student, Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a second year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic.Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

is a third year law student at Syracuse College of Law. She is also pursuing a Master of Arts in International Relations at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She currently serves as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a third year student at Syracuse College of Law. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She is a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was recently awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York and the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and as an extern in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. Full biography

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography