- The Washington Times - Friday, August 12, 2016

The Democratic National Committee has assembled a cybersecurity advisory board in the wake of the hack attack that resulted in thousands of internal party emails being leaked online, Politico reported Thursday.

Details of the newly announced four-member board were outlined in a memo drafted by interim chairwoman Donna Brazile, a political analyst from Louisiana who replaced Debbie Wasserman Shultz as DNC chief last month after the publication of stolen emails led to her ousting.

“To prevent future attacks and ensure that the DNC’s cybersecurity capabilities are best-in-class, I am creating a Cybersecurity Advisory Board composed of distinguished experts in the field,” Ms. Brazile wrote, according to Politico. “The Advisory Board will work closely with me and the entire DNC to ensure that the party is prepared for the grave threats it faces—today and in the future.”

The decision to form the board is a direct response to what the chairwoman described as “illegal cyber attack by state-sponsored Russian hackers,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

“We at the DNC take cybersecurity and privacy seriously,” Ms. Brazile added. “I am personally committed to doing everything possible to prevent an incident of this magnitude from happening again.”

Federal investigators believe the DNC was one of several entities associated with the Democratic Party to be successfully targeted by hackers widely assumed to be agents of the Russian government. Intelligence officials told Reuters this week that members of Congress were warned of the cyber campaign last summer, but details of the DNC being breached were not disclosed publicly until last month after antisecrecy website WikiLeaks published thousands of emails stolen from the committee’s servers on the eve of its convention.

In addition to releasing correspondence that resulted in Ms. Wasserman Shultz’s stepping-down days later, other emails published by WikiLeaks last month included credit-card data and other sensitive information concerning DNC staffers and their contacts.

“Those individuals receiving the data breach notice also will receive offers of assistance to help mitigate any threats to their financial security. Details concerning the breach and other pertinent information for victims will soon be available,” Ms. Brazile wrote in her memo addressed to “interested parties.”

“We understand that this incident is alarming to all who may be affected, and I share your anger at those who committed and abetted this act. Our focus now is preventing future attacks, strengthening our capabilities, and helping protect those whose data was stolen.”

The new DNC board’s inaugural members, according to Politico, include: Rand Beers, former acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; Nicole Wong, a former technology lawyer for Google and Twitter; Aneesh Copra, co-founder of Hunch Analytics; and Michael Sussmann, a former Justice Department cybercrime prosecutor.

Ms. Wong and Mr. Copra both previously held positions as technology officers with the federal government, Politico said.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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