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UVU teaches cybersecurity amid threats of CIA spying through our televisions, phones

UVU teaches cybersecurity amid threats of CIA spying through televisions, phones (Photo: MGN)

(KUTV) News of the alleged CIA hack from WikiLeaks is something to be very concerned about according to a Utah Valley University cybersecurity professor.

"We live in an age when cyber war is probably as dangerous as traditional war," said Basil Hamden, cybersecurity assistant professor . "If I am an IT company in the Silicon Valley that is very alarming to me as well, because these are products that I thought maybe secure at this point."

WikiLeaks claims the more than 8,000 files, allegedly reveal the hacking tools the CIA uses to access cell phones, computers, cars and even smart TVs, where it pretends to turn the device off while using its microphone to record.

"Hacking into a smart TV and turning that into a microphone, this is not something you would probably come across in a classroom setting or text book," Hamden said.

And that's why during his afternoon cyber security class, Hamden felt it was important to talk to students about the leaks to keep them informed as to what is happening in the industry they plan to go into.

"We would like to prepare them. To prepare them for the threats that exist. And we would like to teach them how to prepare against these threats," Hamden said.

Professor Robert Jorgensen, who oversees the cybersecurity program at UVU, said he's not surprised about some of the techniques the CIA may be using but said this kind of a leak can be very concerning when you think about where it will end up.

"My main concern is it will effect our operation with other nations, this kind of information can fall into the wrong hands; we don't know where it's going to end up."

UVU plans to begin a masters degree program on cybersecurity beginning in the fall.

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