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Senate passes bill to require reporting of cyberattacks and ransomware

The bill’s author says Americans need to be protected from hackers

Gavel and U.S. flag
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The U.S. Senate has taken a proactive approach to combat possible cybersecurity threats in the face of the Russia-Ukraine situation.

In a package authored by U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), the Senate has passed the Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act of 2022. The legislation would require infrastructure entities and federal agencies to report cyberattacks to the government within 72 hours; ransomware threats would also need to be reported within 24 hours. The bill awaits passage in the House of Representatives.

“The legislation is urgently needed in the face of potential cyber-attacks sponsored by the Russian government in retaliation for U.S. support in Ukraine,” Peters stated.

“As our nation continues to support Ukraine, we must ready ourselves for retaliatory cyber-attacks from the Russian government. As we have seen repeatedly, these online attacks can significantly disrupt our economy – including by driving up the price of gasoline and threatening our most essential supply chains – as well as the safety and security of our communities.”

Guaranteeing online security in the U.S.

Peters said he will continue his efforts to make the bill a law. He's urging his colleagues in the House to “urgently” pass the legislation to ensure that the nation's online security is kept safe.

Danielle Jablanski, an operational technology cybersecurity strategist at Nozomi Networks, told CNN that the reporting deadlines written into the legislation may be difficult for some companies to handle because information sharing may not be the top priority in a crisis.

Tight or not, the potential consumer impact could be monumental, as the U.S. found out when the Colonial pipeline was hacked. The breach led to increased gas prices and gas shortages. Meat producer JBS was also hit by a cyberattack that prompted shutdowns at company plants and threatened meat supplies all across the nation.

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