The Plot to Hack America: A Conversation with Malcolm Nance
October 26, 2017
In April 2016, computer technicians at the Democratic National Committee discovered that someone had accessed the organization’s computer servers and conducted a theft that is best described as Watergate 2.0. In the weeks that followed, the nation’s top computer security experts discovered that the cyber thieves had helped themselves to everything: sensitive documents, emails, donor information, even voice mails.
Soon after, the remainder of the Democratic Party machine, the congressional campaign, the Clinton campaign, and their friends and allies in the media were also hacked. Credit cards numbers, phone numbers, and contacts were stolen. In short order, the FBI found that more than twenty-five state election offices had their voter registration systems probed or attacked by the same hackers.
Western intelligence agencies tracked the hack to Russian spy agencies and dubbed them the CYBER BEARS. The media was soon flooded with the stolen information channeled through Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. It was a massive attack on America but the Russian hacks appeared to have a singular goal—elect Donald J. Trump as president of the United States.
Author Malcolm Nance, a career counterterrorism and intelligence officer for the U.S. government Special Operations, Homeland Security, and Intelligence agencies, joins the World Affairs Council to discuss the ramifications of Russia’s interference in the 2016 Presidential Election, and what led him to his conclusions about the plot to hack America.
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About the Author
Malcolm W. Nance was a career counterterrorism and intelligence officer for the U.S. government’s Special Operations, Homeland Security, and Intelligence agencies, with over 33 years of experience in combatting radical extremism. An honorably retired U.S. Navy Arabic-speaking intelligence collections operator, field interrogator, Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape specialist and founder of the Advanced Terrorism, Abduction and Hostage Survival School, he spent more than two decades on clandestine antiterrorism and counterterrorism intelligence operations in the Middle East North Africa, the Balkans, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa in direct support of the Special Operations and Intelligence Community. On the morning of 9/11, he eye witnessed the attack on the Pentagon and became a first responder at the crash site. He has trained and advised numerous defense, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies worldwide in understanding and exploiting terrorist strategies, tactics, and ideology to combat the spread of radical extremism.
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