WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement after convening a virtual committee briefing with Jen Easterly, the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and National Cyber Director Chris Inglis to discuss how the Administration is working to mitigate the threat posed by the recently discovered log4j vulnerability:
“The vulnerability in log4j is one of the most serious and widespread cybersecurity risks that we have ever seen, and it leaves countless major companies, government agencies and small businesses susceptible to harmful attacks from cybercriminals and adversaries. Today, I convened a committee briefing with Administration officials to get additional information on how this cybersecurity threat is affecting the federal government, critical infrastructure, and other entities, and what the Administration has been doing to help remediate the issue. I was pleased to hear how our government has swiftly mobilized to respond to this threat – including by requiring federal agencies to secure their systems and by offering support to impacted organizations.
“However, I remain concerned that we will likely never know the full scope and impacts of this widespread vulnerability, or the risk posed to critical infrastructure. Our federal government still lacks the necessary insight to understand the threat facing our nation, protect our networks, and impose consequences on malicious hackers. I will continue pushing to pass my bipartisan legislation to require critical infrastructure companies to report a substantial attack or when they pay ransom so the government can better assess national risk, prepare for national security impacts, and execute coordinated responses.
“As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I’ll continue to work with the Administration to monitor and mitigate the impacts of this serious vulnerability. I remain committed to working with President Biden and my colleagues to protect the American people from online attacks and fight back against foreign adversaries and other criminals who continue threatening our networks.”
As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has led efforts to increase our nation’s cybersecurity defenses. His provision to provide staffing for the National Cyber Director office to improve cybersecurity policy was signed into law as a part of the annual defense bill. Peters’ bill to enhance cybersecurity assistance to K-12 educational institutions across the country was also signed into law. The senator secured several provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure law to bolster cybersecurity – including $100 million fund to help victims of a serious attack recover quickly. Peters’ bills to bolster federal cybersecurity and require critical infrastructure owners and operators to report to CISA if they experience a cyber-attack have advanced in the Senate.