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Cybersecurity Dog Shows Off Skills At Pace

Harley, the cybersecurity dog.
Harley, the cybersecurity dog. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Cybercriminals beware. Harley the Cybersecurity Dog is on the case.

Harley, a 2-year-old labrador retriever, was at Pace University on Thursday with handler Brett Hochran from the FBI New York Field Office to show off her sleuthing skills.

Harley, who graduated from the police academy in August after 12 weeks of training, is trained to sniff out devices like chip cards, USB devices, sim cards, flash drives, and hard drives that cybercriminals might try to hide as evidence. The scent from those devices has been imprinted on Harley and when it's time to work, she goes around the room with her nose to the ground. When she finds a device, she sits and looks at Hochran, who rewards her with food.

"She did a great job," Hochran said. "We've really bonded. We've done eight searches, ranging from the FB to the Secret Service."

Harley, who was given to the FBI by Guiding Eyes, is one of nine dogs with the ability to sniff out cyber devices. A cybercrime dog was able to find the hard drive that sent Subway's Jared Fogle to prison for possession of child pornography.

"These are not small crimes," Hochran said. "They are often crimes in the millions of dollars."

Hochran said Harley can also find parts of a device even it's blown up or burnt.

"A lot of these crimes would go unsolved without these dogs," Hochran said.

When she's not on the case, Hochran said Harley enjoys cuddling. He joked he has not yet used her to find his cell phone.

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