Press Release

Gillibrand Responds to Cyber Attacks, Introduces New Legislation to Foster Global Response

Jul 9, 2009

Washington, DC – In
response to cyber attacks on American and South Korean government
agencies and commercial Web sites over the past week, U.S. Senator
Kirsten Gillibrand will introduce the Fostering a Global Response to Cyber Attacks Act – legislation that will ensure America works with the governments of
foreign countries to foster a global response to cyber attacks.

potentially launched from within North Korea, Russia, China, and other
countries have grown more sophisticated, more targeted, and more
serious over the past year and will only grow more dangerous in time,”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said.  “In the coming days, I will be
introducing new legislation to ensure that America works with the
governments of foreign countries to foster a global response to these
cyber attacks.”

international cyber security agreements focus only on issues relating
to cyber crime and common operating standards and have not been signed
by certain countries from which cyber attacks may be launched.

why Senator Gillibrand is introducing a new, innovative legislative
approach to stem the threat of a global cyber attack. As the technology
to launch a far-reaching cyber attack becomes more sophisticated and
more dangerous, Senator Gillibrand’s new legislation will bring the
U.S. together with its allies in the international community to harness
the strength of their partnerships, and create the right defenses to
protect Americans and the citizens of all nations from cyber attacks.

The Fostering a Global Response to Cyber Attacks Act will require the State Department to work with foreign governments to:

  • Encourage international cooperation in improving cyber security on a global basis;
  • Push for a set of international agreements and law enforcement cooperation to stop cyber attacks and cyber crime; and
  • Develop
    appropriate safeguards for the protection of privacy, freedom of
    speech, and commercial transactions to be included in any agreements or
    other activities designed to safeguard cyberspace.

legislation will mandate that no later than 270 days after the date of
the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit to the
Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on
Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives a report describing any
actions taken by the U.S. to work with the governments of foreign
countries to improve cyber security.

more than a decade, reports have described the increasing vulnerability
of the U.S. to cyber attacks, including a recent leading policy report
that stated cyber attacks have joined terrorism and weapons of mass
destruction as one of the new, asymmetric threats that put the U.S. and
its allies at risk.

cyber attacks against U.S. intelligence and military targets have
resulting in the Department of Defense spending more than $100 million
in the first six months of 2009 to repair damage to networks caused by
cyber attacks – which cost the U.S. billions of dollars annually.

growing array of state and non-state actors, such as terrorists and
international criminal groups are targeting U.S. citizens, commerce,
and the information infrastructure of America, including the Internet,
telecommunications networks, computer systems, embedded processors and
controllers in critical industries to steal, exploit, disrupt or
destroy information.

exploitation activity has grown more sophisticated, more targeted, and
more serious over the past year and is expected to increase as advances
in technology continue to increasingly underpin the society of the
United States.