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Pacific media sources on cybersecurity and WannaCry ransomware

May 15, 2017

The WannaCry ransomware attack over the weekend shows again the growing threat of cyberattacks on personal data and the computer networks of businesses, government agencies and other organizations, such as hospitals, worldwide banks and railways. University of the Pacific faculty can provide insight and context on the latest cyberattack.

Ransomware, cybersecurity, career outlook
Jeff Shafer, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and the founding director of the cybersecurity program at University of the Pacific, can discuss ransomware such as WannaCry and explain how our reliance on modern technology exposes Americans to financial crimes and loss of personal privacy. Many of these same vulnerabilities also apply to businesses and governments, but on a much larger scale. He can discuss how cybercriminals threaten essential services - such as power, water and telecommunications - on which the economy and millions of Americans depend. He can describe how the education standards set by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security help prepare students to work in the expanding career field of cybersecurity to protect our current infrastructure and design the more secure systems of the future.
Contact: Jeff Shafer, 209.946.2302,

Cyberattack countermeasures
Chadi El Kari, an assistant professor of computer science at University of the Pacific, teaches in the university's cybersecurity program and can discuss computer program vulnerabilities, security holes in software exploited by hackers, encryption techniques, distributed denial of service attacks, and countermeasures used to combat breaches in data security. He has written about attacks to wireless sensor networks and other threats. He can discuss the expanding career field of cybersecurity and what is being done to protect our current infrastructure and design the more secure systems for the future.
Contact: Chadi El Kari, 209.932.3062,

FISA and cybersecurity as a national security issue
John Cary Sims, professor at University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, is a founding co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of National Security Law & Policy, a peer-reviewed publication focusing on national defense issues. His primary research areas include constitutional law, especially the First Amendment and human rights. He has written on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and can discuss legal issues related to privacy and cybersecurity, as well as government secrecy, national security and terrorism.
Contact: John Cary Sims, 916.739.7017,

Data science for everyday life
Rick Hutley, professor of practice and founding director of the data science program at University of the Pacific, is the former vice president of innovation at Cisco Systems. As a data scientist, Hutley can talk about "big data" and how it affects everyday life in finance, health care, social media, energy, politics, and sports, among other fields. He can discuss just how much data there is out there and why someone would want access to another person's data. He can discuss what it means to go from the age of technology to the age of big data.
Contact: Rick Hutley, 678.296.2924,

Media contact: Keith Michaud | 209.946.3275 (office) | 209.470.3206 (cell) |

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