Senator Hassan Highlights Need for Enhanced Protections Against Cyber Attacks on Companies like Dyn
Senator Also Discusses Russian Use of "Bots" to Influence Discourse on Social Media
WASHINGTON - Today, Senator Maggie Hassan questioned witnesses at the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on emerging technologies for cybersecurity about the need to enhance protections and safeguards against distributed-denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks.
Last December, Manchester-based Dyn Inc. was hit with a DDOS attack that disrupted internet service throughout the country for some of the top social media, email, and streaming services.
Senator Hassan asked former Chief of Staff for the Office of the Secretary of Defense Eric Rosenbach about what steps can be taken to prevent attacks like the one on Dyn, and how to prevent state-sponsored actors from using the same tactics. Rosenbach said "This is a great example where the 'internet of things' has a dark side that the government needs to play some role in, because you can't expect a firm like that, if it were the Russians, or the Chinese, or the Iranians who are also very active in putting together these bot networks, to be defending itself."
Senator Hassan also highlighted reports that the FBI is investigating Russia's use of "bots" to blitz social media and to try to influence the public discourse surrounding the 2016 Presidential election, and asked how emerging technologies could be used to counter those kinds of Russian misinformation campaigns. Rosenbach said "That is where there is a role for the government to play... you can't expect one private sector firm to counter the Russian government's effort to influence our elections."