Alan Paller, who has worked with countries around the world to stop hackers, advocating for Congress to pass a law that protects computer systems, is dead.
Paller, who was 76, died after a nine-year bout with pancreatic cancer. His family confirmed his death to Bloomberg Businessweek.
Paller was very vocal about cybercrime during the Cold War and its effects in the United States. Some have said cybercrime is the most important phenomenon to shake the world in recent times.
Paller was a Senior Fellow at the SANS Institute, a cybersecurity research group, and was the former head of its Center for Cybersecurity and Communications. He was also a cybersecurity expert in France and, in the 1990s, was the foreign ministry’s cybersecurity advisor.
“Alan Paller was a pioneer of the cyber-warfare area. In the 1980s, he developed with intelligence agencies and governments an international agreement on spying from computers, which was then adopted by NATO as the Alliance Information Security Guidebook,” said M.J. McCain, the executive director of SANS Institute.
“He also set up the first international terrorism committee with a far wider geographic scope to consider what we have now described as the cyber security problem,” McCain said.
In 1990, Paller published a book, The Information Security Guidebook, with other security experts.
He previously told Washington Post that he could see two threats in the information age.
“One is (terrorists) staying in touch,” he said. “It’s completely possible for someone in a hospital in France to be plugged into a big bank in London, and the robbers’ bank tellers know where the money is coming from and where it’s going.”