Risk
3/24/2010
12:46 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Cybersecurity Bill Passes Senate Committee

Senators supporting the legislation, aimed at protecting the U.S. from cyberattacks, stress the need to enact it as soon as possible.

A crucial piece of cybersecurity legislation is one step closer to becoming law after being approved during a Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee hearing Wednesday.

The Cybersecurity Act, S. 773, aimed at protecting critical U.S. network infrastructure against cybersecurity threats by fostering collaboration between the federal government and the private sector firms that maintain that infrastructure, is now on its way to the Senate floor.

The bill, co-sponsored by committee Chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), was introduced last April and then re-introduced last week with some key changes. Notably, it no longer gives the president unilateral power to disconnect networks from the Internet in the event of a major cyberattack.

The bill also includes amendments for how the president and private sector can work together to help secure critical infrastructure.

During the hearing, senators expressed how important it is that the Senate passes the legislation quickly, as it's long overdue.

Sen. Rockefeller called the fact that the bill still hasn't been passed like "starting in kindergarten," as both President Obama and former President George W. Bush both called for comprehensive cybersecurity legislation.

"The government hasn't gotten its act together; the private sector has had problems getting its act together," he said. "It's extraordinary and very discouraging."

Co-sponsor Sen. Snowe weighed in as well, noting the "gravity" of the threat and stressing how much effort went in to developing a bill that "goes to great lengths" to bring the public and private sectors together to mitigate the threat.

"I hope we get broad support for this legislation," she said.

Noting that the bill gives various government departments a year to implement cybersecurity policy, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida) said that might even be too much time in light of potential cyber threats.

"We'd better get it done before a year because our enemies are out there," he said.

The Cybersecurity Act calls for a revision of cybersecurity processes and oversight in government, the facilitation of public-private partnerships on keeping computer systems safe, the funding of cybersecurity research, and the hiring of more cybersecurity specialists.

Companion legislation that would create the national cybersecurity adviser position -- the National Cybersecurity Advisor Act, S.778 -- is still pending before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.

The House last month passed its own cybersecurity bill, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2009 (HR 4061), first introduced by Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) last year. That bill funds research and development for a comprehensive cybersecurity plan that would involve the cooperation of several federal agencies.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7407
Published: 2014-10-22
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in the MRBS module for Drupal allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of unspecified victims via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-3675
Published: 2014-10-22
Shim allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (out-of-bounds read) via a crafted DHCPv6 packet.

CVE-2014-3676
Published: 2014-10-22
Heap-based buffer overflow in Shim allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted IPv6 address, related to the "tftp:// DHCPv6 boot option."

CVE-2014-3677
Published: 2014-10-22
Unspecified vulnerability in Shim might allow attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted MOK list, which triggers memory corruption.

CVE-2014-4448
Published: 2014-10-22
House Arrest in Apple iOS before 8.1 relies on the hardware UID for its encryption key, which makes it easier for physically proximate attackers to obtain sensitive information from a Documents directory by obtaining this UID.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.