As investigators look into a hack of Democratic National Committee emails, and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump seemed to issue a challenge to the hackers Wednesday, a North Texas cybersecurity expert said there is reason for concern on both fronts.
"This is very worrying," said Bhavani Thuraisingham, a cybersecurity expert at the University of Texas at Dallas. "It looks like we are living in this fantasy world, but no, it's very real."
Thuraisingham said when Donald Trump asked on Wednesday, "Russia, are you listening?" and suggested if the country had hacked DNC emails, maybe it had Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's missing emails, he was inviting other potential attacks.
"Because they will be emboldened," Thuraisingham explained. "And it's not just the Russians who will be emboldened. They will get some of these hackers who think, 'OK, I can do it also.'"
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Thuraisingham said the DNC could likely have prevented the hack with better security measures.
"I don't want to be political," Thuraisingham said. "The DNC should have been more cautious."
Thuraisingham pointed out some terrorist groups use more caution in their email communications. "They are sending encrypted emails that law enforcement – FBI and the CIA – can't read," she said. "And yet the DNC is sending some ridiculous emails that the whole world can read."
She said anyone can use encrypted email, and should if they want to keep a private email, private.
"It's not that difficult," Thuraisingham assured.