|1st Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency|
November 16, 2018 – November 17, 2020
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Brandon Wales (acting)|
|Under Secretary of Homeland Security for the National Protection and Programs Directorate|
June 15, 2018 – November 15, 2018
Acting: July 24, 2017 – June 15, 2018
|Preceded by||Suzanne Spaulding|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Infrastructure Protection|
August 1, 2017 – June 15, 2018
|Preceded by||Caitlin Durkovich|
|Succeeded by||Brian Harrell|
|Born||January 30, 1977|
|Education||University of Virginia (BS)|
George Mason University (JD)
Christopher Cox Krebs (born 1977) is an American attorney who served as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the United States Department of Homeland Security from November 2018 to November 2020. In November 2020, President Donald Trump fired Krebs for refuting Trump's claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
Early life and education
Krebs was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1977. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia in 1999 and a Juris Doctor from the George Mason University School of Law in 2007.
Krebs's professional work has focused on cybersecurity and risk management issues. He served as Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Infrastructure Protection, and later worked in the private sector as Director for Cybersecurity Policy for Microsoft.
In March 2017, he became Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Homeland Security. In August 2017, he was appointed Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection, and performed the duties of the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for National Protection and Programs until he was confirmed to that position on a permanent basis on June 15, 2018. In November 2018, the National Protection and Programs Directorate was replaced by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and Krebs remained as director of the agency.
It was reported that Krebs was being considered to serve as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security after the departure of Kevin McAleenan, although he was reported to be uninterested in the position.
On November 12, 2020, it was reported that Krebs expected to be fired from his position; in part, this expectation was due to Krebs's role in creating a CISA website to debunk election-related disinformation, much of which was being promoted by President Donald Trump and his allies. As CISA's director, Krebs was the "administration's most senior cybersecurity official responsible for securing the presidential election". Sidney Powell, an attorney for Trump and Michael Flynn, asserted on the Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo Fox News programs that a secret government supercomputer program had switched votes from Trump to Biden in the election, a claim Krebs dismissed as "nonsense" and a "hoax."
On November 17, 2020, Krebs said in a tweet that "59 election security experts all agree, 'in every case of which we are aware, these claims (of fraud) either have been unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent.'" Trump fired Krebs via Twitter the same day, because the "recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud". Trump provided no evidence of this fraud.
Later that month, a lawyer for the Trump campaign, Joseph diGenova, called for Krebs to be "drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot". DiGenova's specific criticism was that Krebs "thinks the election went well". Krebs responded to diGenova's tweet in an op-ed in The Washington Post, saying "I am not going to be intimidated by these threats from telling the truth to the American people."
On December 8, 2020, Krebs filed a civil lawsuit against diGenova, the Trump campaign, and Newsmax TV, accusing them of "defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, aiding and abetting, and civil conspiracy". He said that he has received "a barrage of threats and harassment" as a result of diGenova's comments and "faces a genuine risk of imminent harm".
After leaving office, Krebs joined former Facebook CISO Alex Stamos at the beginning of 2021 to form Krebs Stamos Group, a cybersecurity consultancy, which quickly landed its first customer, the recently-beleaguered SolarWinds.
- Macias, Amanda (November 18, 2020). "Trump says DHS cybersecurity chief Chris Krebs has been terminated". CNBC. Archived from the original on November 18, 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
- "Nomination of Christopher C. Krebs to be Under Secretary, National Protection and Programs Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security" (PDF). Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate. April 25, 2018. pp. 35–36.
- "Christopher C. Krebs". Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency. November 17, 2020. Archived from the original on November 18, 2020.
- "Christopher C. Krebs". Department of Homeland Security. September 5, 2017. Archived from the original on May 7, 2019. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
- Zakrzewski, Cat; Inzaurralde, Bastien (November 16, 2020). "The Cybersecurity 202: Trump set to make a new DHS agency the top federal cyber cop". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 18, 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
- "President Trump Signs Law Establishing DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency". Water ISAC. November 20, 2018. Archived from the original on November 18, 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
- Restuccia, Michelle; Hackman, Andrew (October 21, 2019). "White House Personnel Director Tells Trump Top DHS Secretary Picks Ineligible for Job". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on October 21, 2019. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
- Kanno-Youngs, Zolan; Haberman, Maggie (October 21, 2019). "Trump Running Out of Options for Homeland Security Secretary". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on November 18, 2020. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
- "Rumor Control". CISA.
- Geller, Eric (November 12, 2020). "Top cyber official expecting to be fired as White House frustrations hit agency protecting elections". Politico. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
- Bing, Christopher; Menn, Joseph; Satter, Raphael (November 12, 2020). "Exclusive: Top official on U.S. election cybersecurity tells associates he expects to be fired". Reuters. Archived from the original on November 18, 2020. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
- Sanger, David E.; Perlroth, Nicole (November 18, 2020). "Trump Fires Christopher Krebs, Official Who Disputed Election Fraud Claims". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
- Fichera, Angelo; Spencer, Saranac Hale (November 13, 2020). "Bogus Theory Claims Supercomputer Switched Votes in Election". FactCheck.org. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
- Nakashima, Ellen; Miroff, Nick (November 17, 2020). "Trump fires top DHS official who refuted his claims that the election was rigged". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 18, 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
- Sanger, David E. (November 18, 2020). "Trump fires Christopher Krebs, whose agency disputed president's false claims of election fraud". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on November 18, 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
- Wong, Julia. "Arizona and Wisconsin certify Joe Biden's win as Trump continues to challenge results – as it happened". The Guardian. Archived from the original on December 1, 2020. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
- Harvey, Josephine (November 30, 2020). "Trump Lawyer Says Fired Cybersecurity Chief Should Be 'Shot' For Defending Election". HuffPost. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
- Krebs, Christopher (December 1, 2020). "Trump fired me for saying this, but I'll say it again: The election wasn't rigged". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
- Feuer, Alan (December 8, 2020). "Christopher Krebs, a fired Trump official, sues the campaign and the lawyer who said he should be shot". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
- Tamborrino, Kelsey (January 10, 2021). "Former election cybersecurity chief: Trump can redeem himself by resigning". Politico. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
- Sebenius, Alyza (January 8, 2021). "SolarWinds Taps Krebs, Stamos to Help Investigate Hack". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 19, 2021.
SolarWinds Corp. has tapped prominent security experts Chris Krebs and Alex Stamos to review its practices after suspected Russian hackers compromised the company’s software and conducted a sprawling hack across the U.S. government and private sector. The contract with SolarWinds is the first for a newly formed venture Krebs and Stamos have created together. The Krebs Stamos Group will advise clients on cybersecurity, with a focus on areas including foreign threats and crisis situations. The group will work toward 'national and economic security,' Krebs said in a statement Friday.
- Hamilton, Isobel Asher (January 8, 2021). "SolarWinds has hired ex-CISA chief Chris Krebs and Facebook's former security lead Alex Stamos months after its huge hack". Business Insider. Retrieved June 19, 2021.
SolarWinds has hired two of the biggest names in cybersecurity, following the gigantic breach, which meant it acted as the gateway for hackers to penetrate US government systems. SolarWinds announced on Thursday it was retaining a new security consulting business founded by Chris Krebs, a former Homeland Security cybersecurity official, and ex-Facebook security chief and Stanford University professor Alex Stamos.
- Whittaker, Zach (January 8, 2021). "Chris Krebs and Alex Stamos have started a cyber consulting firm". TechCrunch. Retrieved June 19, 2021.
Former U.S. cybersecurity official Chris Krebs and former Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos have founded a new cybersecurity consultancy firm, which already has its first client: SolarWinds. The two have been hired as consultants to help the Texas-based software maker recover from a devastating breach by suspected Russian hackers. Krebs was one of the most senior cybersecurity officials in the U.S. government, most recently serving as the director of Homeland Security’s CISA cybersecurity advisory agency from 2018, until he was fired by President Trump for his efforts to debunk false election claims — many of which came from the president himself. Stamos, meanwhile, joined the Stanford Internet Observatory after holding senior cybersecurity positions at Facebook and Yahoo. He also consulted for Zoom amid a spate of security problems.