Cyber ​​official warns ‘American way of life’ threatened by hackers

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A senior US cybersecurity official issued a terrible warning to members of Congress on November 3, saying the “American way of life” faces serious risks amid ransomware attacks and physical threats to critical infrastructure in the United States. country.

Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, known as CISA, told the House Homeland Security Committee that “Ransomware has become a scourge in almost every aspect of our lives, and this is a prime example. emerging vulnerabilities such as our digital and our physical infrastructure are increasingly converging.

Its appearance, with national cybersecurity director Chris Inglis, comes as the private sector and governments have faced pervasive cyber attacks over the past 12 months. Some attacks, including the Colonial Pipeline Co. breach in May, have resulted in gas shortages, disrupted supply chains, and exposed federal systems to significant compromises.

Easterly’s testimony came after the CISA issued a binding operational directive that would create a catalog of known exploited cybersecurity vulnerabilities and require federal agencies to correct those flaws within specific time frames. It would apply to all software and hardware in federal information systems, including those managed by an agency or hosted by third parties.

While the guideline would only apply to federal agencies, Easterly said in a statement that she wanted every organization to adopt the guideline “and prioritize the mitigation of vulnerabilities listed in CISA’s public catalog.”

Representative John Katko (R-New York) said, “The volume of alerts, advisories and directives shows the pervasiveness of vulnerabilities affecting owners and operators of critical infrastructure and federal networks.”

Inglis said private critical infrastructure, which accounts for 85% of the total, is “increasingly at the heart of the government’s imperative to protect and ensure national security.”

“Shared defense is not a choice but an imperative,” said Inglis.

Katko, the top Republican on the panel, and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), The panel chair, put rare bipartisan emphasis on the importance of tackling cybersecurity threats and praised the efforts of the CISA. President Joe Biden has called cybersecurity a “critical national security challenge” and has since reorganized parts of the US government to reflect the new priorities.

National cybersecurity director Chris Inglis said cyberattacks by Russian-based groups had declined since June. House Homeland Security Committee via YouTube)

Inglis told members of Congress that there has been a “noticeable decrease” in cyber attacks by Russian-based groups since President Joe Biden met Russian President Vladimir Putin in June.

“It is too early to say whether this is due to material efforts by the Russians or the Russian leadership,” he said. “It may well be that the transgressors in this space have just somehow realized that this is – at the moment – a very hot time for them.”

“We have to make sure that continues to be the case,” said Inglis.

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