By Emily Litvack, UA News
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which opened in theaters this weekend, details how the Rebel Alliance steals architectural plans for the Death Star in order to eventually destroy it. But according to one University of Arizona cybersecurity expert, there are real-life lessons to learn from the downfall of the Empire.
Hsinchun Chen, professor of management information systems at the UA, has spent 27 years researching cybersecurity and leads a $5.4 million National Science Foundation project called “Hacker Web” to explore international hacker communities, including those in Russia, China and the United States.
Chen says the theft of architectural plans isn’t just the stuff of fiction and, in fact, “probably the most obvious case for why countries hack each other is intellectual property, or IP. Deliberately stealing information about your drawings or your engineering designs or your scientific instruments, that’s all intellectual property.”
In government, he adds, this kind of theft is virtually inevitable.
“There are only two types of organizations: Those who have lost their data and know it, and those who have lost their data but don’t know it,” Chen says.
While we don’t yet know how the Rebel Alliance was able to succeed in its efforts, Chen knows exactly what he would have told the Empire to avoid theft of its IP.
Top image by DarthNP, courtesy Wikipedia. Photo of Hsinchun Chen by Thomas Veneklasen.