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Warner Says the U.S. Must Act Against Hackers


Virginia’s Senator Mark Warner says hackers are getting more aggressive – doing things that could be considered acts of war, and he predicts Congress will vote soon on the first in a series of measures to confront our cyber enemies. 

Senator Mark Warner praised Colonial Pipeline for reporting a cyberattack, but he says many companies don’t.

“For a number of years companies have been quietly paying ransom as almost a cost of doing business. That is not sustainable in the long term.”

During a livestreamed interview with Axios News, Warner added that unless lives are at risk victims should refuse to pay ransom.

“These businesses may be paying to people who our government has sanctioned," he explained. "We’ve sanctioned a lot of different criminal organizations in Russia.  I can imagine some of the ransom that’s been paid ended up in their pockets.  That’s illegal!”

And, he wants the U.S. to be a leader in confronting this 21st century problem.

“This not just attacks against American companies.  The whole Irish healthcare system was shut down recently.  We need to make clear, because often times these cyber criminals or cyberattacks by governments come from our adversaries like

He worries that hackers who were once in search of information may now be bent on doing harm. 

“When the Russians went in in the Solar Winds attack and got 18,000 companies they penetrated, if they had decided to shut down all those systems, that to me would be close to an act of war and completely crippled our economy.”  :15

That’s why he says cybersecurity is a bi-partisan issue and predicts quick passage of a bill to require reporting of any attacks.  

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief