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Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

Sens. Rubio, Warner seek leader for SolarWinds cyber breach response

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U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mark R. Warner (D-VA) are requesting a leader be named in the U.S response to the SolarWinds cyber breach that impacted numerous federal agencies and thousands of private sector entities.

The senators forwarded correspondence to the Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, National Security Agency Director General Paul Nakasone, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray, and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Acting Director Brandon Wales, urging the Unified Coordination Group name a leader.

“The briefings we have received convey a disjointed and disorganized response to confronting the breach,” the lawmakers wrote. “Taking a federated rather than a unified approach means that critical tasks that are outside the central roles of your respective agencies are likely to fall through the cracks. The threat our country still faces from this incident needs clear leadership to develop and guide a unified strategy for recovery, in particular a leader who has the authority to coordinate the response, set priorities, and direct resources to where they are needed.”

Rubio and Warner maintain how the incident has been addressed is too critical to continue operating in the same manner.

“Presidential Policy Directive-41 was not meant to impede a joint response to significant cyber incidents and clearly gives the Unified Coordination Group the authority, with mutual agreement and consistent with applicable legal authorities, to realign operational control of respective agency assets to respond to such incidents,” they concluded. “We urge you to reach such an agreement and assign a clear leader to ensure we confront and mitigate this incident fully and as quickly as possible.”