The House cybersecurity chairman Thursday raised the specter that nation-state hackers like Iran and North Korea, linked to the attack on Sony Pictures, could hit the nation’s electric grid, Wall Street and even the federal government next.
Rep. Patrick Meehan, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, said the Sony attack and potential for a more widespread Internet invasion by U.S. enemies demands that President Obama sign pending cybersecurity legislation into law and look to other efforts to protect homegrown technology.
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“The attack on Sony is the latest high-profile example of the growing danger of the cyber threat, and it won’t be the last,” said the Pennsylvania lawmaker.
“American businesses, financial networks, government agencies and infrastructure systems like power grids are at continual risk. They’re targeted not just by lone hackers and criminal syndicates, but by well-funded nation-states like North Korea and Iran. A lack of consequences for when nation states carry out cyberattacks has only emboldened these adversaries to do more harm,” he added.
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Meehan was a co-author of the newly-passed Nationals Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act. It was OK’d along with legislation to enhance the federal government's cybersecurity workforce.
"The attack on Sony shows the dire need to upgrade our cyber defenses. We need to ease the sharing of threat information between government and the private sector and strengthen our ability to prevent and respond to attacks," said Meehan, who added: “Congress took important steps last week by passing bipartisan legislation that builds our cyber defense capabilities – it’s time for those bills to be signed into law and implemented.”
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.