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Here’s how a Pentagon cybersecurity expert imagines the U.S. could respond to a North Korean cyber attack

Eric Rosenbach asks us to role-play.

Eric Rosenbach is used to dealing with real cyber crises.

But he offered a fake one on Thursday at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. Rosenbach was once the chief of staff to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and was the Pentagon’s cyber czar — “which sounds sexy until you find that almost all czars were assasinated” — and created some fictional events (that mirrored real-life ones he faced himself).

Now a professor at Harvard, Rosenbach cold-called on unsuspecting audience members, just as he would in one of his classrooms. Here are some of the interesting points raised in the role-playing:

  • At the Defense Department, “the country that worried me the most was North Korea,” he said. Rosenbach predicted that the North Koreans would turn to cyberattacks as part of an effort to undermine American democracy.
  • The North Koreans have a couple of different avenues to execute a hypothetical attack: voter registration systems, communications from state or county election officials, or through local and national media.

Watch the full video above.

This article originally appeared on

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