• United States



Prevalent Plagiarism

Mar 08, 20092 mins

I try to read the USA Today Technology section at least once a week. I don’t always read the articles, just the headlines to see what is most popular regarding technology.  When I read the paper on Sunday, March 8, the article that caught my eye wasn’t the new cybersecurity report that is being presented to President Obama. No, the headline that grabbed my attention was: “Scientists explain why they plagiarize.”

Excuses for plagiarism don’t surprise people anymore. If a high school junior proclaimed, “I did it because my hard drive crashed,” most would shrug it off as a young mistake and tell them to not let it happen again. But what about plagiarism from well-known scientists?

Harold Garner, an expert on scientific plagiarism, said, “It’s just too easy to cut and paste these days.”

What’s going on here?

I love some of the data that was offered:

“Potential plagiarists were ‘more varied’ in their responses:

•28% denied plagiarism

•35% admitted wrongdoing and expressed remorse

•22% were from co-authors ‘claiming no involvement in the writing of the manuscript.'”

I also found the excuses to sound very similar to the ones offered by college and high school student studies on cheating that I’ve come across. How about this line: ” I was not aware of the fact I am required to take such permission.”

Are you kidding me? These are supposed to be our best and brightest. I suppose Wall Street ethics are not the only ones that need improvement.

Yes, this does have huge implications for the Internet, businesses, and society as a whole. Who are the new role models? Where are the positive examples? Is this the new normal?

For security professionals, this is just another example of how cyber ethics are so vitally important to what we do at home and work.  

 What are your thoughts?


Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist and author. During his distinguished career, Dan has served global organizations in the public and private sectors in a variety of executive leadership capacities, including enterprise-wide Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) roles in Michigan State Government. Dan was named: "CSO of the Year," "Public Official of the Year," and a Computerworld "Premier 100 IT Leader." Dan is the co-author of the Wiley book, “Cyber Mayday and the Day After: A Leader’s Guide to Preparing, Managing and Recovering From Inevitable Business Disruptions.” Dan Lohrmann joined Presidio in November 2021 as an advisory CISO supporting mainly public sector clients. He formerly served as the Chief Strategist and Chief Security Officer for Security Mentor, Inc. Dan started his career at the National Security Agency (NSA). He worked for three years in England as a senior network engineer for Lockheed Martin (formerly Loral Aerospace) and for four years as a technical director for ManTech International in a US / UK military facility. Lohrmann is on the advisory board for four university information assurance (IA) programs, including Norwich University, University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), Valparaiso University and Walsh College. Earlier in his career he authored two books - Virtual Integrity: Faithfully Navigating the Brave New Web and BYOD For You: The Guide to Bring Your Own Device to Work. Mr. Lohrmann holds a Master's Degree in Computer Science (CS) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and a Bachelor's Degree in CS from Valparaiso University in Indiana.

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