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Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

Sen. King presses for cyberattack deterrence strategies

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Sen. Angus King (I-ME) pressed Department of Defense leaders for information on U.S. cyberattack deterrence and efforts against emerging threats during a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

“Let me focus on a particular issue of deterrence that I’ve been doing a lot of work on, and am puzzled about, and that is cyber deterrence,” King, co-chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, said. “A cyberattack that disables our entire electric grid, I think everyone would agree, deserves a clear and unequivocal response. What about a cyberattack that freezes the voter registration lists in Florida a week before the election? How do we deter those kinds of attacks? My sense is we’ve had Sony, we’ve had OPM, we’ve had 2016 with very little if any substantive response, and that our adversaries don’t fear us, to put it most bluntly in terms of cyberattacks on this country.”

John Rood, the Under Secretary Of Defense For Policy, acknowledged King’s previous request for information and action.

“Yes, Senator, and I recall you raising this with me during my confirmation visit with you, and it’s something you’ve been a leader on in pursuing this type of activity,” Rood said. “I would say since that time you and I met two years ago, we have put in place now a cyberstrategy, and one of the primary aspects of that is it calls for defending forward. We will no longer wait if we’re observing indications of planning for an attack, for an adversary to spring that attack.”

King also noted America should focus its resources on combating emerging threats, such as Russia’s development of what he referred to as “nightmare weapon” hypersonic missiles.