DNC beefs up cyber team with former Yahoo executive

DNC beefs up cyber team with former Yahoo executive
© Greg Nash

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is bringing on new talent from the private sector to bolster its cyber defenses ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. 

DNC Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE announced Thursday that the committee has hired Bob Lord, who previously held top technology roles at Yahoo and Twitter, to serve as its chief security officer. 

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Perez has made cybersecurity a top priority at the DNC after the organization saw its networks breached by Russian hackers ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Other new hires include Raffi Krikorian, a former Uber executive, who currently serves as the DNC’s chief technology officer. 

“When I took this job, I made it crystal clear that our organization’s cybersecurity required immediate attention and resources,” Perez said in a statement Thursday. 

“I’m confident Bob’s skills and hard work will help protect us against the sort of cyberattacks and intrusions that are unfortunately all too common in today’s age. Defense is an essential part of any game plan, and I couldn’t be happier with Bob holding the line for the DNC,” Perez said. 

Lord most recently served as the chief information security officer at Yahoo. He was responsible for managing the company’s response efforts in the aftermath of two high-profile security breaches that occurred in 2013 and 2014. Those breaches occurred before he was employed at the company.

Yahoo disclosed in October that the 2013 breach impacted all 3 billion of its user accounts, triple the figure originally reported. Separately, the Justice Department has indicted two Russian intelligence officers and two criminal hackers in the unrelated 2014 breach. One of the individuals charged, a Canadian citizen, pleaded guilty to the charges in November.

In a statement, Lord pledged to work to bolster the DNC’s defenses as well as those of state Democratic parties across the country.

“Cyberattacks are an unfortunate, but very real threat to our work. I'll be working to protect my new colleagues at the DNC from the attackers who would prefer to keep us distracted from our mission of getting Democrats across the nation elected,” Lord said.

“My job doesn’t stop at the front door of the building — my team and I will work with state parties to update their information security strategies and deployments to change the economics for the attackers,” Lord said.