White House to bring on NSA hacker to NSC

White House to bring on NSA hacker to NSC
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The White House is bringing on the leader of an elite hacking group at the National Security Agency (NSA) to fulfill a national cybersecurity role, an administration official has confirmed. 

Reports have circulated in recent days that Rob Joyce, chief of the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) unit, would join the White House to manage the federal government’s cybersecurity policy efforts. White House adviser Thomas Bossert confirmed that Joyce would join the National Security Council on Wednesday.

“I’d like you to welcome Rob Joyce as he joins the White House National Security Council team,” Bossert, who advises President Trump on homeland security and counterterrorism, told industry leaders at a cybersecurity conference in Washington. “I’m honored to confirm that rumor.”

“We will welcome Rob as soon as the process works its way through,” he said.

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Joyce has led the NSA's hacking unit since April 2013. Various outlets reported in recent days that Trump had selected Joyce to serve as the White House’s cybersecurity coordinator, though officials had not publicly confirmed the rumors.

Bossert said Wednesday that Joyce would be an “absolute treasure” to the White House in its cybersecurity efforts. 

The role was previously filled by Michael Daniel, who last month was appointed president of the Cyber Threat Alliance, a group of cybersecurity leaders convened to share threat information to boost cybersecurity across their organizations. 

Joyce’s appointment is noteworthy given Trump’s ongoing battle with the intelligence community, following leaks to the press about investigations into contacts between Trump campaign aides and Russian officials.

Trump took aim at the intelligence community for the leaks in February, specifically calling out the NSA and FBI for allegedly “illegally” leaking the information.