FBI, DOD officials recognized for cybersecurity contributions

SAN FRANCISCO — Two government officials were recognized this morning at the RSA Security conference for their contributions to cybersecurity.

Robert Lentz, deputy secretary for cybersecurity at the Defense Department, received the award for excellence in the field of security practices for his work during eight years at DOD in implementing the Common Access Card program and improving acquisitions, among other work.

FBI Special Supervisory Agency J. Keith Mularski, who helped to lead a two-year investigation of the Dark Market cybercriminal forum that resulted in 56 arrests last year, received the award for excellence in the field of public policy.

Lentz, whose father was an Air Force pilot who idolized Billy Mitchell, an early advocate of U.S. air superiority, likened our present state of cybersecurity to the period when Mitchell was fighting an uphill battle to get recognition for his views.

During Lentz's eight years at the Pentagon, he achieved nearly 100 percent deployment of the CAC and helped implement a risk-management based process for certifying and accrediting information systems, the Defense Information Assurance & Accreditation Program. He also developed the DOD International Information Assurance Program, which creates partnerships with allies to improve international cooperation in cybersecurity.

Mularski was part of an international team that included U.S. Justice Department officials and law enforcement officials from the United Kingdom, Germany and Turkey to bring down the Dark Market. The online forum provided an exchange for services, stolen credentials and purloined information. The arrests in October helped to prevent an estimated $70 million worth of economic loss through fraud.

The Dark Market operation was cited as a model for cutting edge international cooperation in law enforcement.

“Hopefully, Dark Market was just the steppingstone for greater things to come” in international law enforcement, Mularski said in accepting the award.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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