Several members of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Diego Cyber Intrusion Group received recognition from the Secretary of Homeland Security for their contributions to detecting vulnerabilities within the cyber infrastructure of various public and private organizations.
HSI San Diego special agents Kenneth K. Padilla, Stirling A. Campbell, Brent H. Moores, and Cyber Security Specialist Benjamin J. Lockyer – members of the Operation Cyber Centurion (OCC) team – received the Secretary of Homeland Security’s Meritorious Service Silver Medal Award during a special ceremony at U.S. Coast Guard Air Station San Diego, April 29. Group Supervisory Special Agent James R. Grundy and Cyber Operations Officer Allen W. Latimer were awarded but not present during the ceremony.
HSI San Diego formed OCC in collaboration with its federal and state partners to detect and disrupt cyberattacks that threaten the economic integrity, public safety, and national security of the United States.
The team is credited for deploying innovating ways to search for weaknesses in critical networks and fortifying hundreds of essential systems vulnerable to cyberattacks, including multiple police departments and emergency services, a major transportation authority corridor, a state power district, a state government’s Department of Information Technology network, an interstate law enforcement task force, a critical Port Authority network, and multiple hospital networks facing ransomware attacks.
Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security John K. Tien traveled to San Diego to present the team with the prestigious award. The award is the second highest form of recognition bestowed by the Department of Homeland Security. It recognizes outstanding leadership, superior public service, or significant contributions to strengthening homeland security.
“OCC has resulted in the disruption of hundreds of cyber intrusion and ransomware attacks targeting critical infrastructure to include major utilities, health care, public education, financial systems, emergency services, and local government infrastructure; thus, preventing billions of dollars in economic losses and directly securing the safety of the American public,” Tien said.