Security Expert On Presidential Election Hack: 'We Should Have Expected This For a Long Time'

The Central Intelligence Agency has reported that Russia did interfere with the 2016 presidential election. That comes as no surprise to the cybersecurity community, which has seen parts of Russia as a refuge for hackers and cyber criminals.

"I think it’s hugely significant. Frankly, I don’t think it’s surprising either, we should have expected this for a long time," said Sam Curry, chief product officer at Cybereason, a Boston-based security firm.

Despite the President-elect's doubts over the CIA's findings, Curry said that nation states, cyber arms, and 'hacktivists' have been at this type of work "for years."

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"People have always known that military and espionage as arms of, let’s say, state policy, have always been used. But it’s always been cloak and dagger," he said. "What’s surprising about this is it’s so open."

The blunt and open nature of the attack makes it harder to defend, according to Curry. "You have to understand the mindset of the attacker. You have to understand the tools that they use," he said.

As a whole, the security industry has a problem of oversimplifying the way data breaches are executed. "There’s this conflation in our industry of always thinking about things in black and white," Curry said.

Curry said with the new administration moving into office in January, there’s an opportunity to involve critical infrastructure leaders in cyber security defense, and to build "minimum systems with minimal access" that can be quickly and easily patched.

"This is about what I would call an antifragile world. We need to make sure that things are survivable," he said.