24 May 2023
US-based indictments against nation-state affiliated hackers
The Azure Forum hosted an informal briefing and group discussion on “US-based indictments against nation-state affiliated hackers” on Wednesday 24 May 2023.
David Hickton, the first prosecutor to use an indictment to target nation-state hackers, provided an overview and first-hand account of significant US-based indictments against nation-state affiliated hackers. Hickton also addressed the evolving value of indictments in the national security toolkit and for multilateral cooperation.
From 2010-2016, David J. Hickton served as United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, where he prosecuted groundbreaking cyber cases, including a first-of-its kind indictment against members of the Chinese military for economic espionage. Hickton had a distinguished career in private practice prior to his service as U.S. Attorney and is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Hickton has been admitted before numerous courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Hickton founded the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security in 2017, where he serves as founding director. He holds faculty appointments in the School of Law, the School of Computing and Information, and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Hickton also serves as the managing trustee of the National Opioid Abatement Trust II; as well as a non-resident senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (DC) and a Distinguished Fellow at the Azure Forum for Contemporary Security Strategy. Hickton took a leave of absence from Pitt to serve as staff director and senior counsel to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis from 2020-2021. Hickton is a 1978 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University and a 1981 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He began his legal career as a clerk for U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond. He has been named Pennsylvania Attorney of the Year, Distinguished Alumni of Pitt School of Law, and a University of Pittsburgh Legacy Laureate. He is also a recipient of the University of Pittsburgh 225th anniversary medallion, an honour bestowed on alumni who have brought particular honour to the university through their work and service.