U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Talks Cybersecurity at DSU - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Talks Cybersecurity at DSU

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U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Monday that cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly significant focus of his department and told students at Delaware State University they could play a major role in protecting against threats from hackers.

Johnson's remarks came during a cybersecurity job fair at DSU. He said the department, created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, finds itself addressing a stream of virtual attacks to public and private entities that come from cyber criminals, hackers, and even nation states.

"Bad Actors are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and creative, and aggressive. We have to keep pace with that," he said.

Although cyber-attacks are becoming more complex, Johnson said many people who work in government and private sectors are compromising secure networks and systems to hackers through a simple technique called "spearfishing."

"Someone...opens an email that they should not have opened from someone they did not recognize and clicks that attachment," he said.

The secretary encouraged students to pursue careers in cybersecurity and said they could achieve great things, pointing out the fact that he once had a 1.8 GPA at Morehouse College.

Johnson's talk came a day before an election that some have worried could be affected by hackers disrupting elections in the U.S.

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, who sits on the Senate's Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee and invited Johnson to speak at DSU, doesn't think so-called cyber hi-jinks will lead to questions about the legitimacy of the election.

Nearly every state, Carper said, had reached out to Homeland Security for assistance this election, including Delaware. He would not comment on what kind of help the department would provide.

"We've been all over this," he said. "We're prepared. The states are prepared."

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