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Attorney General Sorrell Announces Vermont Cyber Security Project

CONTACT: Ryan G. Kriger, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5479

July 9, 2012

At 7 AM on a Wednesday morning, about 20 small business owners and IT professionals sat in a conference room in the Pavilion Building in Montpelier to hear how they could keep their businesses safe online. It was part of an ongoing series of programs by Attorney General Bill Sorrell, in partnership with Norwich University’s Center for Advanced Computing and Digital Forensics, to protect Vermont businesses and consumers from cybercrime. “The most significant danger facing Vermonters today is online safety,” Attorney General Sorrell has explained. “I take this danger very seriously, and am committing my office’s resources and creativity to work with Vermont consumers and businesses to combat it.”

Dr. Peter Stephenson, a Norwich professor and expert on information assurance, cyber warfare, digital forensics, and cyber investigation, who began his career almost 50 years ago as a crypto tech in the US Navy, discussed how cybercriminals use malware (malicious software) to rob consumers, and described what businesspeople can do to stop it. Assistant Attorney General Ryan Kriger explained the legal requirements businesses need to know regarding online privacy and what to do if a business has a data breach.

“Vermont is light-years ahead of other states with this program,” Stephenson told the assembled businesspeople.

The workshop, titled “Cyber Safety for Small Business,” was offered very early so that local businesspeople wouldn’t have to take time away from their businesses. The workshop, part of the Vermont Cyber Security Project was the first of many. Additional workshops will be held in Burlington, White River Junction, and Rutland, starting in the fall.

In addition to the workshops, the Attorney General and Norwich are offering “Scan Vermont,” a program in which high-level students in Norwich’s Center will engage in free penetration tests of businesses in order to identify basic security vulnerabilities. Norwich will also be offering a series of low-cost weekend Cyber Security Bootcamps for IT and security professionals in their Cyber War Room.

Finally, in late July or early August, the Attorney General’s Office will begin meeting with stakeholders in a Privacy and Data Security Round Table in order to discuss future legislation to protect Vermont consumers and businesses online.

In addition to programs for Vermont businesses, Attorney General Sorrell also hosted a joint program with Essex High School and Facebook for students, parents, and educators on how to keep children safe online. A video of that presentation, which was filmed by Channel 17, is available online at

Information about upcoming programs, as well as an application for Scan Vermont, can found on the Attorney General’s website under Privacy and Data Security.

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