Senators Warner and Blunt say ransomware attacks are a wake-up call

A bipartisan Senate duo said Sunday that “it took gas and meat” for the United States to give serious thought to ransomware attacks and that there should be ways to punish countries that host hackers.

Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, said there should be international standards for responding after hackers, believed to be based in Russia, attacked the Colonial Pipeline, a critical US fuel artery; the meat processing company JBS Foods; and the Irish healthcare system.

“We’ve been talking about cyber for a long time, but finally the American public is beginning to realize the ramifications of these attacks,” Warner told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

He wants to pass bipartisan legislation that requires companies to notify the government when they are attacked. He said companies must be transparent so law enforcement can go after the bad guys.

Appearing on the same show, Senator Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, said that if the government demands higher standards from private companies, it should be able to protect its own system, citing last year’s SolarWinds attack that targeted federal agencies.

“They also entered the government system. We didn’t know they were there. We don’t know how long they were there. We’re not absolutely sure they’re not there yet, ”Blunt told NBC.

He said there must be consequences for countries that are not doing enough to attract rogue actors.

“You really have to treat Russia as if it were virtually a criminal enterprise,” Blunt said. “You know, they harbor criminals, they, they don’t appreciate the rule of law or any kind of level of personal freedom. And I think we have to go back. “

The White House says President Biden will raise the ransomware issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin when the couple sit down in Switzerland on June 16.

“I’m glad this is getting the attention it’s finally getting,” Blunt said. “It took gasoline and beef to think this is really a serious problem.”

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