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Saturday, February 27th, 2021

Thompson requests information on DHS relationship with critical infrastructure companies

Bennie Thompson

U.S. Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) recently sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson stressing the importance of information sharing between government agencies and critical infrastructure companies.

Thompson’s letter comes in the wake of a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack against the network services of Dynamic Network Services Inc., or Dyn, on Oct. 21. The DDoS attack suspended access to many popular websites such as Netflix, Paypal, Spotify and Facebook.

“While DDoS attacks are not uncommon, these attacks were unprecedented not only insofar as they appear to have been executed through malware that exploiting tens of thousands of Internet of Things devices but also because they were carried out against a firm that provides services that, by all accounts, are essential to the operation of the internet,” Thompson said.

Thompson said the attacks on Dyn signifies the increasing interdependence of operators in the information technology sector.

In the letter, the congressman requested information regarding the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) and when the department became aware of the attack. Additionally, Thompson sought information on the Cyber Information Sharing and Collaboration Program (CISCP) and how many domain name server (DNS) providers, cloud providers and private companies maintain situational awareness using the CISCP.

Thompson also sought information on when DHS would release a set of strategic principles for securing Internet of Things devices.

Johnson has yet to formally respond to the request.