CybersafetyConnection June 2021 Vol# 21 

Be In The Know 

  • Bill proposed enhanced criminal violation and empower the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) to combat botnet groups.  
  • Ban on sale of compromised systems, certain surveillance, and spyware devices.  
  • Cybersecurity establishment, corporate community, and President Biden.  

Microsoft 365 Stock Images

Enhanced Penalties and Empower DOJ  

The bill on Cybersecurity Legislation International Cybercrime Prevention Act was introduced in Senate and the act is intended to enforce tougher penalties on hackers who go after critical infrastructures like dams, power plants, hospitals, and election equipment.   

The act also aims to enhance the Justice Department’s capabilities to go after botnets groups that carry out some destructive cyberattacks, destruction of data, and other activities that are a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.   

Ban on Sale of compromised Systems, Surveillance, and Spyware Devices 

In addition, the bill would ban the sale of access to compromised systems if the buyer intends to use this access to cause damage and also stop the sale of certain surveillance and spyware devices.   

Cybersecurity Establishment, Corporate Community, and President Biden  

As it stands the national cybersecurity establishment needs to step up to play its part as well as the corporate community that had resisted more regulations with the stance that cyberattacks would be kept under control without more regulations.    

 This is not the first time the bill has been introduced- it was introduced in 2018 and got no support. The bill was re-introduced in the face of the recent spate of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure and increasing threats from foreign nations like China and Russia.    

Most notably the U.S Intelligence linked Russia to the Solar Wind hack this year, an accident that occurred last year where the bad actors gained access and spied on nine U.S federal agencies and 100 private sector firms for most of last year before they were discovered.   

The FBI had linked the recent cyberattacks to the Russian government or Russian-based cybercriminals and this issue was top of the mind for President Biden’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Switzerland. President Biden also discussed a major part of U.S cybersecurity operations and warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further spiteful cyberattacks in cyberspace.   

In summary, the move by President Biden and the bill in the Senate is an attempt to combat botnets and other cyber threats deemed as invasive species that are out of control.   

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