By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local university is helping wage the war against cyberattacks on our nation’s infrastructure, which the FBI warns is a serious and growing threat, as well as on criminals who take aim at your personal information.

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As head of Drexel’s new Cybersecurity and Policy Institute, in the unversity’s “ExCITe Center,” at 34th and Market Streets, retired US Air Force colonel Norm Balchunas is pushing students and faculty to solve problems facing industry, government, and the rest of us.

For evidence of cybercrime, Balchunas noted today, he doesn’t have to look far:

“I got a text message from Bank of America saying my debit card was hacked into today.”

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Balchunas says the institute’s first project will train military veterans in specific crime-fighting areas.

“We’re going to be working with Special Operations Command, out of Tampa, Florida, to train wounded warriors in how they can help combat child sex trafficking,” he explained.

Drexel University president John Fry said he expects of the institute’s talent to be instrumental in safeguarding digital information and preventing another data breach of the sort that struck Target and other retail chains recently.

“Reacting is not enough,” Fry said. “We need to be able to assess threats and come up with categorical solutions.”

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