2013 Archives

SMU cyber expert Fred Chang testifies about personal data security on Obamacare site

Excerpts from Chang's Testimony

SMU Engineering Professor Fred Chang, an internationally recognized authority on cybersecurity, discusses the state of healthcare.gov with members of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 19, 2013.

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November 19, 2013

DALLAS (SMU) – National cyber security expert Fred Chang, the former director of research for the NSA now on faculty in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering, testified Tuesday, Nov. 19, before a congressional committee in Washington, D.C., called to examine concerns about lack of privacy protection for users of the healthcare.gov website.

Chang spoke before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Other panelists called to testify included Morgan Wright, CEO of Crowd Sourced Investigations, LLC; and David Kennedy, founder and principal security consultant at TrustedSec, LLC.

"Cyberspace can be a pretty bad neighborhood," Chang said.  "Skilled hackers find far too few barriers between themselves and their targets – whether they are individuals who conduct business transactions over the web on a home computer or businesses that need to protect their intellectual property.  I am very pleased to explore ideas that may help improve cybersecurity for many people.”

Prior to his oral testimony, Chang submitted written testimony to the committee. It is available online from the committee site.

About Fred Chang

Chang joined SMU (Southern Methodist University in Dallas) in September to develop a multidisciplinary program aimed at tackling the most pressing cyber challenges facing individuals, business and government today.

Chang is the Bobby B. Lyle Endowed Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security and professor of computer science in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. He also is a senior fellow in SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.  His appointments to positions in both the Lyle School and Dedman College reflect the interdisciplinary approach he believes is key to effective cyber research.

Chang served as director of research at the National Security Agency, where he was awarded the NSA Director’s Distinguished Service Medal.  In addition, he has held several senior executive positions at SBC Communications, prestigious positions at both the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas at San Antonio, and was most recently president and chief operating officer of 21CT Inc., an advanced intelligence analytics solutions company in Austin.  Find more about Chang’s background here.


SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.

SMU’s Bobby Lyle School of Engineering, founded in 1925, is one of the oldest engineering schools in the Southwest. The school offers eight undergraduate and 29 graduate programs, including masters and doctoral degrees.



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