Auburn cybersecurity expert speaks on news that U.S. could offer cyberwar capabilities to NATO allies

Published: October 03, 2018
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Frank Cilluffo, a globally renowned cyber expert and director of Auburn University’s Charles D. McCrary Institute, offers the below comments regarding today’s news that the U.S. could offer cyberwar capabilities to NATO allies.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Cilluffo was appointed by President George W. Bush to the newly created Office of Homeland Security. There, he was involved in a wide range of homeland security and counterterrorism strategies, policy initiatives and served as a principal advisor to Director Tom Ridge, directing the president’s Homeland Security Advisory Council. Cilluffo has publicly testified before Congress on numerous occasions, serving as a subject matter expert on policies related to counterterrorism, cyber threats, security and deterrence, weapons proliferation, organized crime, intelligence and threat assessments, emergency management and border and transportation security. Similarly, he works with U.S. allies and organizations such as NATO and Europol. He has presented at a number of bilateral and multilateral summits, including the U.N. Security Council, on cybersecurity and counter-terrorism.

Cilluffo calls today’s news of possible U.S. cyberwar support to NATO “a promising development: as an alliance, NATO needs to ensure it has the requisite tools and capabilities to match the current threat environment. Cyber capabilities are at the very top of the list given Russia’s resurgent activity in the cyber domain and are instrumental to enabling broader deterrent efforts in the region.

“From a U.S. standpoint, this development also shows that we are beginning to walk the talk: the recently released White House and Pentagon cyber strategies make clear that the U.S. will adopt a more robust cyber posture -- and this is a good example of doing exactly that. The 'Bear' needs to understand that actions (i.e., meddling...or far worse such as attacks on critical infrastructure) have consequences. A clear and powerful declaratory statement -- such as this -- is a good first step in that direction. The time for 'brush-back' in this regard and raising the stakes for bad cyber behavior is long overdue.”

To arrange an interview with Cilluffo, please contact Preston Sparks, Auburn University Director of Communications, at 334-844-9999 or Auburn University is a member of the LTN network. The university’s Studio at Tichenor Hall is available for live HD video interviews with Cilluffo. If you are with a media outlet that is a member of LTN and would like to schedule a live interview about this story, visit our LTN webpage for more details or email to