Journalist and “Nightline” Host Ted Koppel to Speak at U on Cyberattacks

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From apartheid in South Africa to the attacks on the World Trade Center, Ted Koppel has relayed news to Americans since 1980. In his new book, Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath, Koppel moves to a new front — warning Americans of what is to come.

Koppel will speak and sign copies of his book on Wednesday, Nov. 4 from 3 to 4 p.m. The event is hosted by the Hinckley Institute of Politics and will be held in the OSH auditorium.

Ted Koppel is most well-known for his time as host of ABC’s “Nightline. From the program’s inception in 1980 to his retirement in 2005, Koppel won three Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award. Since his retirement, Koppel has contributed to The New York Times, NPR, BBC News, NBC and The Wall Street Journal and worked as the managing editor of the Discovery Channel.

“We’re excited to host such a successful journalist that students can learn from and look to as an example,” said Jayne Nelson, associate director of the Hinckley Institute.

Lights Out analyzes the likelihood of a cyberattack on the United States’ power grid, then discusses the toll of having electricity shut off in the majority of the country for a long span of time. Koppel contends that in the event of a cyberattack, the economy, infrastructure and healthcare system of the U.S. would be devastated.

“It’s important for students to recognize threats that affect their lives, the politics and the world around them,” Nelson said.

Addressing the need for preparation, Koppel directs attention to residents of Utah, especially members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as an example. Koppel toured LDS facilities in Salt Lake City and spoke to families and companies in the area to learn more about the church’s approach to emergency preparedness.

“Cyberattacks are something I haven’t considered,” said Delaney Dangerfield, a sophomore in anthropology and international studies. “We usually think of bullets, rockets and missiles as weapons of war, but this could be a lot worse.”

Koppel will discuss more about his findings at the event, which is free and open to the public.

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@emilyinorgandy