May 12, 2021

Wyden: Colonial Pipeline Hack Shows New Cyber Standards and Accountability for Lax Cybersecurity Are Needed to Protect American Critical Infrastructure

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, today issued the following statement on responding to the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack:

“The shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline by cyber-criminals highlights a massive problem – many of the companies running our critical infrastructure have left their systems vulnerable to hackers through dangerously negligent cybersecurity. These corporate failures pose a severe threat to national security. Congress must take action to hold critical infrastructure companies accountable and force them to secure their computer systems.

“For far too long Wall Street has racked up profits by cutting jobs in safety and security, even when it puts lives and the country’s economy at risk. There must be serious civil and criminal penalties – with personal accountability for CEOs – for critical infrastructure firms with lax cybersecurity, and federal agencies should be conducting regular cybersecurity audits of these firms. Any company so vital to our economy that a cyberattack can disrupt the lives of millions of Americans, should be regularly audited by the government, so that our adversaries are not the first ones to discover cybersecurity weaknesses.”