McCaul Statement on State Department’s Cyber Breach

Media Contact: Lauren Claffey, April Ward (202) 226-8477

Today, U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on the cyber breach of unclassified State Department networks:

Chairman McCaul: “Criminals, hacktivists and nation states are attacking our government networks at an alarming rate. Every day that Congress does not pass vital and bipartisan cybersecurity legislation is a day Congress leaves this country vulnerable to these persistent and increasingly dangerous attacks. If a larger attack occurs, it's going to be on Congress for not acting. It is my hope our common sense legislation to secure our government networks and critical infrastructure from the growing cyber threat is sent to the president's desk without further delay."

From 2009 to 2013, the number of reported breaches just on federal computer networks — the .gov and .mils — rose from 26,942 to 46,605, according to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team and it is only getting worse.

In 2013, US-CERT responded to a total of 228,700 cyber incidents involving federal agencies, companies that run critical infrastructure and contract partners. That’s more than double the incidents in 2009.

In July, U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 3696, the National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, introduced by Chairman McCaul, Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Yvette Clarke (D-NY). More information on this bipartisan legislation to strengthen efforts to combat cyber attacks on our critical infrastructure can be found HERE.