Herbert Lin

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Herb Lin

Herbert Lin

  • Senior Research Scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation
  • Hank J. Holland Fellow in Cyber Policy and Security, Hoover Institution
CISAC Stanford University Encina Hall, C236 Stanford, CA 94305-6165
650-497-8600 (voice)


Dr. Herb Lin is senior research scholar for cyber policy and security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and Hank J. Holland Fellow in Cyber Policy and Security at the Hoover Institution, both at Stanford University.  His research interests relate broadly to policy-related dimensions of cybersecurity and cyberspace, and he is particularly interested in the use of offensive operations in cyberspace as instruments of national policy and in the security dimensions of information warfare and influence operations on national security.  In addition to his positions at Stanford University, he is Chief Scientist, Emeritus for the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies, where he served from 1990 through 2014 as study director of major projects on public policy and information technology, and Adjunct Senior Research Scholar and Senior Fellow in Cybersecurity (not in residence) at the Saltzman Institute for War and Peace Studies in the School for International and Public Affairs at Columbia University; and a member of the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. In 2016, he served on President Obama’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.  Prior to his NRC service, he was a professional staff member and staff scientist for the House Armed Services Committee (1986-1990), where his portfolio included defense policy and arms control issues. He received his doctorate in physics from MIT.

Avocationally, he is a longtime folk and swing dancer and a lousy magician. Apart from his work on cyberspace and cybersecurity, he is published in cognitive science, science education, biophysics, and arms control and defense policy. He also consults on K-12 math and science education.


Working Papers
April 2020

A Research Agenda for Cyber Risk and Cyber Insurance

Journal Articles
November 2019

Cyber Risk Research Impeded by Disciplinary Barriers


In The News

Herb Lin

Software as a Disservice? Security Shortcuts Are Exposing Computers to Hackers

A problem for investors is that companies don’t have proper incentives for preventing attacks. Herb Lin, cyber policy and security scholar at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, said companies spend too much energy avoiding responsibility for attacks, rather than preventing them.
Computer code

US Slaps Russia With Sanctions Plus For SolarWinds Hack

The White House Executive Order comes on the same day that CISA and CNMF issue SolarWinds-related malware analysis and NSA-CISA-FBI issue a joint advisory warning of ongoing SVR exploitation of known vulnerabilities in common products. Herb Lin comments.