In the wake of two high-profile reports of cyber attacks this month – first against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, then the elite consultancy Stratfor Global Intelligence – Congressman Jim Langevin is renewing his call for Washington to take stronger steps to protect the nation’s digital infrastructure.
The Stratfor attack is particularly concerning, Langevin said. ”When you have a major firm specializing in cybersecurity getting hacked this way, it gives you an idea of how difficult this problem is and how much ground still needs to be covered to better secure our cyber networks,” he said Wednesday in a statement.
“Consider also that many of our most critical industries still aren’t taking cyber threats seriously, even though they do not have the level of expertise that Stratfor does and an attack on them could result in much more serious damage than this incident,” Langevin said. In the past, he’s pointed to electric and water utilities as potential targets.
Rhode Island’s 2nd District congressman has become one of Congress’s leading authorities on digital threats and is cofounder of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus. In June he authored an op-ed for The Hill’s website entitled “Preventing a cyber Sept. 11.” (For more on the topic, try David Scharfenberg’s May Providence Phoenix story.)
However, Langevin has yet to weigh in on the top hot-button digital debate roiling Congress these days: the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that’s before the House Judiciary Committee. But considering the concerns experts have raised about its potential to compromise cybersecurity, it won’t be surprising if he decides to oppose it.